Rhode Island’s Judge DuBose Receives Nomination to Federal District Court

In a joint statement today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse expressed their commendation for President Joe Biden’s nomination of Rhode Island District Court Associate Judge Melissa R. DuBose to the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The nomination follows a thorough selection process, including extensive interviews and careful deliberation, with the Senators endorsing Judge DuBose for the position.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, based in Providence, is a federal trial court handling both civil and criminal cases.

“We commend President Biden for nominating Judge DuBose to this seat on the U.S District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Judge DuBose is a champion for justice who will strengthen the federal bench. She is highly regarded throughout the Rhode Island legal community and will make an outstanding federal judge. Her broad experience as a public school teacher, prosecutor, in-house counsel, and state court judge has well prepared her for this new assignment. Judge DuBose has demonstrated the highest levels of integrity, professionalism, and skill. We are confident in her ability to serve justice and her fellow Rhode Islanders. We look forward to her confirmation proceeding in a timely fashion,” said Reed and Whitehouse.

Judge DuBose’s nomination will proceed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Senator Whitehouse serves as a senior member. The Committee will conduct a confirmation hearing, followed by a vote and a recommendation to the full Senate. The nomination must then receive confirmation from the full Senate.

A Rhode Island native, Judge DuBose, 55, graduated from Providence College in 1990 with a degree in Political Science. She obtained her teacher certification from the Providence College School of Continuing Education and taught history and civics in the Providence Public School system for a decade. She earned her Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law in 2004.

Following her law degree, Judge DuBose served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for Rhode Island and later as senior legal counsel at Schneider Electric in Foxboro, Massachusetts. In December 2018, she was appointed to the Rhode Island District Court by Governor Gina Raimondo and confirmed by the Rhode Island State Senate in January 2019.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Judge DuBose would make history as the first person of color and the first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. She would fill the vacancy created by Judge William E. Smith, who plans to retire from regular active service and assume senior status on January 1, 2025.

“We thank Judge Smith for his outstanding leadership and dedicated service. Judge Smith has worked hard to make the federal court more accessible to the public and improve the court’s efficiency and transparency,” added Reed and Whitehouse.




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