First Circuit Swears in Jack McConnell as Federal District Judge

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on July 01, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A new judge has been sworn into office in the First Circuit this week.

The Associated Press reports that the investiture ceremony for U.S. District Judge John James McConnell (Jack McConnell) occurred earlier this week as he was sworn in to the Federal Circuit as a District Court Judge.

The ceremony was a tearful one, reports the AP, and it took place at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI.

Judge McConnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1958. He was nominated by President Barack Obama on January 5, 2011, to a vacancy left by Ernest C. Torres. He was confirmed by the Senate on May 4, 2011, in a 50-44 vote, and received commission on May 6, 2011.

He attended Brown University in 1980, where he received his Bachelors of Arts. He then attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law , where he received his J.D. in 1983.

Prior to coming on board as a federal judge, McConnell was in private practice from 1984 to 2011. He clerked for the Honorable Donald F. Shea at the Rhode Island Supreme Court from 1983-1984. Donald Shea later became McConnell's father-in-law.

It was, in fact, Shea, who helped McConnell into his black judicial robes at the swearing in ceremony. The investiture oath was administered by Mary M. Lisi, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District of Rhode Island.

The vacancy filled by McConnell had been left open for four years, amid constant partisan bickering, reports the AP. His opposition came largely from Republicans, who claimed that McConnell was biased against business defendants.

In his speech, a tear-inducing moment came when McConnell addressed his children.

"I have to tell you being called judge is a pretty incredible title, but there's no title of which I'm more proud than being called your dad."

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