June 17, 2010

The Most Important Judicial Nomination You Never Heard Of Set For Vote Today

That is according to Legal Insurrection blogger and Cornell law professor Will Jacobson. He points to a story in The Providence Journal.
A major business group has stepped up its opposition to President Obama’s nomination of John J. McConnell Jr. to the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, calling him “unfit to serve this lifetime appointment to the federal bench.”

On the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s debate on the McConnell nomination, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce alerted senators that their votes on whether to seat him could become part of the organization’s influential scorecard on members of Congress.

“Mr. McConnell’s actions during his career as a personal injury lawyer and past statements demonstrate his disregard for the rule of law, an activist judicial philosophy and obvious bias against businesses,” R. Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s chief lobbyist, said in a letter Tuesday to committee members that was released Wednesday morning. ...

The consideration of McConnell’s nomination is playing out against a partisan backdrop. The Providence lawyer, 51, is a longtime state Democratic official, a major contributor to the party and a leading plaintiffs’ lawyer. He has given more than $432,000 to federal election campaigns over the years, including those of Whitehouse and Jack Reed. That appears to make him the top donor to federal campaigns among the nearly 1,500 nominees to U.S. courts since 1988. Only three other nominees during those years appear to have given as much as $100,000, according to a Providence Journal analysis of federal contributions.