MARCH 24, 2011
New information about the advocate trial lawyer and Democratic fundraiser that President Obama keeps pushing as a federal judge sheds light on why the Senate has twice rejected the controversial judicial candidate who was nominated for a third time earlier this year.Not only is the renowned plaintiff attorney (John J. McConnell) an outspoken partisan who donates big bucks to Democrats, he’s made tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits against tobacco companies and will continue receiving checks for years to come, even if Obama fulfills his dream of giving McConnell a lifetime federal judgeship in Rhode Island.As the top litigator at his mega Providence law firm (Motley Rice), McConnell has raked in between $2 to $3 million a year since 1999 and will receive between $2.5 and $3.1 million annually through 2024 in “deferred compensation” for work on tobacco litigation. McConnell revealed the astounding figures in response to disclosure requirements by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee considering his nomination.This doesn’t seem to concern Obama, who in January nominated McConnell for a third time to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island. The president also resubmitted a batch of other controversial nominees that have been previously rejected by the Senate. Most are for federal district courts and a handful are for the appellate courts.Among the more contentious figures is Goodwin Liu, the ardently leftist Californialaw school professor Obama has named to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Liu suspiciously concealed more than 100 of his most controversial speeches, publications and other background materials from the Senate committee that screens judicial candidates. The records expose Liu’s leftist positions in areas such as “constitutional welfare rights,” affirmative action, judicial activism and immigration.The “glaring omissions” were reluctantly provided by Liu only after the committee discovered them independently. Last spring Judicial Watch wrote the Senate Judiciary Committee a letter expressing grave concerns about Liu’s activist theories, radical and expansive view of judicially-enforceable rights and lack of practical legal experience. Get information about all federal judges and nominees, including their financial disclosures, in Judicial Watch’s Judicial Nomination Project.
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