Take a Stand to Keep the Wrong Man from Sitting

Posted: May 04, 2011 10:35 AM
Editor's note: Guest blog by Lisa Rickard for the Institute for Legal Reform.

Never in the nearly century-long history of the U.S. Chamber have we opposed a federal district court nominee. But never have we encountered someone quite like John J. “Jack” McConnell.

Mr. McConnell is being considered to serve on the United States District Court for the District Court of Rhode Island. Later today, the Senate is expected to take a procedural vote on his nomination. But for a host of reasons, it’s one we can’t afford to see move any farther.

In his 25 years of practicing law, Mr. McConnell has continuously shown a fundamental bias against business. He has received a mediocre rating from the American Bar Association. And he’s scheduled to receive about $3 million per year between now and 2024 for his time spent as a plaintiffs’ lawyer. This presents a major conflict of interest.

If all these reasons aren’t enough, then consider more recently his answers to questions in front of the Judiciary Committee. Mr. McConnell’s testimony was both misleading and contradictory. How can someone whose ability to tell the truth has been called into question possibly be fit to serve as a federal judge?

The Chamber is urging members of the Senate to oppose Mr. McConnell’s nomination and that’s why we sent a Key Vote letter up to the Hill yesterday. We need the Senate to stand together to keep a man who has repeatedly shown an inability to be impartial from sitting on the federal bench.