HRC Blog

First Openly Gay Man Confirmed by Senate for Seat on Article III Court

In an 80-13 vote last night, the U.S. Senate confirmed Paul Oetken to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Oetken is considered the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate for a seat on an Article III court.

HRC has advocated for Mr. Oetken’s confirmation since his nomination, including a letter of support from January of this year.

Judge Deborah Batts, who currently sits on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, is considered the first openly gay woman to be confirmed for a seat on an Article III court.  She was appointed to the bench during the Clinton Administration.

Prior to Mr. Oetken’s confirmation, Batts was considered the only LGBT individual serving openly on an Article III court.  Now, the Southern District of New York will have the only two openly-gay Article III judges in the nation.

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