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McConnell Approved by Senate Panel

This just in: the Senate Judiciary Committee has just recommended approval of Rhode Island lawyer Jack McConnell's nomination to the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island on a 13-6 vote. The nomination now goes to the Senate floor for a vote by the full chamber.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has mounted an unusually high-profile campaign against McConnell, a major Democratic donor who was involved in the historic $248-billion tobacco settlement and high-profile lead paint litigation in Rhode Island.

That opposition has won significant attention in the local press, but Washington sources say the lawyer's nomination has never been in serious doubt.

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