Rhode Island Public Defender Moves Closer to Federal Bench
Washington, DC – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved, without objection and by voice vote, the nomination of Rhode Island Public Defender Mary McElroy to serve as United States District Court Judge for the District of Rhode Island. Her nomination now goes before the full Senate for an up-or-down vote. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded her approval.
“Ms. McElroy’s skill, compassion, and deep commitment to the people of Rhode Island – demonstrated time and again during her years of distinguished legal practice – will serve our state well. I am grateful to Chairman Grassley and all my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for recognizing her abilities and voting in favor of her nomination. It’s wonderful to see Mary reach the final phase of this process,” said Whitehouse.
A Warwick native who currently resides in Coventry, Mary McElroy is the first woman in Rhode Island history to serve as the state’s Public Defender, which provides high-quality legal representation to all indigent citizens in Rhode Island in criminal, juvenile, and parental rights cases. McElroy has over twenty years of legal experience at the state and federal level, having previously served as Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Office of the Federal Defender for the United States District of Rhode Island and as Assistant Public Defender in the Office of the Rhode Island Public Defender.
McElroy graduated with honors from Suffolk University School of Law and also holds an undergraduate degree in history from Providence College. She also clerked for the Honorable Donald F. Shea of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and was an associate with the Providence law firm Tate & Elias.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse recommended McElroy to President Barack Obama for nomination in July. The President accepted the Senators’ recommendation and officially nominated McElroy in September.