Wall Street Journal unhappy with nominee for U.S. District Court

Providence, R.I. – A Providence lawyer nominated to the federal bench continues to face opposition from the business community.

The latest jab at John J. McConnell Jr., President Barack Obama's pick for the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, came in today's editorial in the Wall Street Journal condemning the former treasurer of the Rhode Island Democratic Party for being anti-business.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will decide on Thursday whether or not it will recommend that the Senate confirm McConnell, whom the Journal described as "one of the East Coast's most notorious plaintiff attorneys and Democratic partisans."

The editorial mentioned McConnell's role in litigating cases against asbestos and lead paint industries, among others, and it relayed some worry from Republicans that McConnell would not be impartial on the bench.

The Journal's editorial follows a news release last month from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several other right-leaning national business associations that stated, "We ultimately fear that Mr. McConnell's apparent bias against business defendants, underlying judicial philosophy, and questionable respect for the rule of law, will lead to the multiplication of baseless lawsuits in his courtroom with untold consequences to businesses large and small across the country."

Though McConnell was originally recommended by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both Democrats, he has received public support from several prominent Republicans, including Judge D. Michael Fisher of the third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.