HRC Blog

Sen. Schumer Recommends First Openly Gay Man for Federal Bench

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that he is recommending Daniel Alter to President Barack Obama to serve as a judge in the Southern District federal court of New York. Alter will be the first openly gay man to be nominated for the federal court in American history. Sen. Schumer shared his intention to nominate Alter at the Greater New York Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner on Saturday and officially recommended Alter to the President earlier this week. Said HRC President Joe Solmonese:

"Daniel Alter is eminently qualified for a position on the federal bench. America is taking a step forward towards equality by evaluating an individual based on his accomplishments and without regard to his sexual orientation. We commend Senator Schumer for his historic recommendation, and look forward to the President’s nomination."

The Human Rights Campaign has advocated on behalf of Alter’s nomination since December 2008, when Joe Solmonese sent a letter to the Obama Transition Team strongly endorsing Alter’s candidacy for the federal bench. His experience, knowledge and temperament make him ideally suited for a federal judgeship. Alter is a graduate of Columbia College and Yale Law School. As a young lawyer, he clerked for the Hon. John M. Walker and the Hon. Guido Calabresi, who both served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Alter served for six years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, specializing in first amendment matters and terrorism issues. Alter is not only a legal expert in terrorism and security; he is a strong advocate for civil rights. As the National Director of the Civil Rights Division of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), he led ADL’s charge against hate crimes, both at home and abroad. Furthermore, Alter has a firm grasp of the legal issues affecting the business community. He has been a partner at the law firm of Hogan & Harston, LLP, and a principle at Alter & Alter, LLP, specializing in media and communications work, appellate litigation and complicated commercial cases. He has extensive experience with complex litigation and currently serves as a Director at Credit Suisse, where he is responsible for deploying $100 million on behalf of the Litigation Risk Strategies Group.

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