Senate confirms top public defender to federal bench

September 13, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island public defender’s four-year journey to the federal bench has finally come to an end.

Mary McElroy, of East Greenwich, was confirmed as a U.S. District Court in Providence when the full Senate held a voice vote on Wednesday.

The Senate’s approval of McElroy, the state’s first female chief state public defender, was held up twice after making it to the Senate only to stall amid partisan bickering.

McElroy was first nominated by President Barack Obama in 2015 at the recommendations of Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary voted in January 2016 to move McElroy’s name to the full Senate for consideration.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected and President Donald Trump nominated her again in 2018.