Bench Memos

Re: Buying a Judgeship?

It turns out that fatcat Democratic donor John J. McConnell Jr.—nominated by President Obama to a district judgeship in Rhode Island—received a mediocre ABA rating of substantial majority “qualified”/minority “not qualified.”  For someone with so much litigation experience (he’s been a trial lawyer for 25 years), such a poor rating ought to set off alarm bells.  At the very least, that rating makes even more clear that Senators Reed and Whitehouse recommended him because of his campaign contributions, not, as they claimed (in the Providence Journal’s paraphrase), because of his supposed “qualities of legal ability, intellect, temperament and integrity.”