Yesterday, the Senate confirmed John “Jack” McConnell Jr., a partner at the Motley Rice plaintiffs’ firm and a significant Democratic donor, to a federal district court seat in Rhode Island, 50-44, after the passage of a cloture vote on his nomination, which passed 63-33. McConnell was a partner at Motley Rice, an aggressive plaintiffs’ firm, and a significant Democratic donor. His nomination was controversial and opposed by most Republicans. As the BLT Blog reported:
McConnell’s nomination has become a rallying point for industries upset over mass torts and over the tight relationships between some plaintiffs’ lawyers and state attorneys general. In an unusual move, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce openly opposed McConnell and told senators it would include votes about the nomination on its scorecard.
During a floor debate, senators traded views about the usefulness of mass tort cases like those against the tobacco and paint industries.