Droney confirmed for US Court of Appeals

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed the nomination of Christopher F. Droney of West Hartford to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

With the backing of U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Droney was named by President Clinton as U.S. attorney for Connecticut in 1993 and then nominated in 1997 as a U.S. District Court judge.

Droney is the brother of John Droney, the former Democratic state chairman who managed Lieberman’s upset defeat of Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. in 1988. Both Droney brothers were early backers of Al Gore, who was Clinton’s vice president, for president in 1988.

“Judge Droney’s legal acumen and long career of devoted public service will make him a valuable addition to the Second Circuit,” Lieberman said on the Senate floor. “His experience as a federal judge — including as a visiting judge on the Second Circuit court itself — and diversified career of service in both public and private practice, make him particularly well suited for this position, and I commend President Obama for his decision to nominate Judge Droney earlier this year.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said on the floor, “He has demonstrated as a district court judge the qualities that I know he will bring to the Court of Appeals. Extraordinary scholarship and intellect, adherence to precedent, careful analysis, a thoughtfulness and responsiveness in the questions that he asks and an insight into the factual record as well as the truthfulness of witnesses. He has what I consider to be the most important qualification of any judge, which is the capacity for growth, for learning and listening.”

While Droney was U.S. attorney, federal prosecutors worked closely with a task force of federal agents and city and state police officers to break two warring gangs in Hartford: Los Solidos and Latin Kings. Similar efforts were made in New Haven and Bridgeport.

Droney became a favorite of prosecutors and agents with a low-key style and willingness to share credit for the the successful prosecutions. Agents recall Droney personally delivering a long-awaited fax machine on a snowy night to the task force’s off-site headquarters in Hartford.

Droney is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Based in New York, the 2nd Circuit handles federal appeals from New York, Connecticut and Vermont.