HRC Blog

President Obama Nominates Out Judge to Federal Bench

President Obama nominated seven new federal judges yesterday, including openly gay Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas. Judge Thomas has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

Obama said the seven nominees represent his “continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves.” If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Thomas would be the first out gay African American man to serve on the federal bench. 

Judge Thomas is the seventh openly gay life-tenured federal court judicial nominee named by President Obama. Prior to the Obama Administration, only one openly gay individual had been confirmed to serve with lifetime tenure on our federal judiciary. 

Three of the President's openly gay nominees have been confirmed and one withdrew his nomination after significant obstructionism in the Senate. Pamela Chen of New York is currently awaiting a vote by the full Senate Judiciary Committee and Judge Thomas will join Judge Michael McShane in the queue for a hearing by the Committee.

HRC urges the Senate to take action on these three nominees, as well as dozens of other qualified nominees awaiting confirmation.

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