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Obama Appoints Record Number of Gay Judges, But Senate Obstruction Persists


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, culture, ethics, freedoms, gayrights, law, rights, sadness, safety, society, politics, women, congress, constitution, corruption, dishonesty, government, obama, republicans, usa )

JL
- 573 days ago - lambdalegal.org
Today, it is more important than ever that our courts reflect the growing diversity of our country, but we have a long way to go. There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are white men.



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JL A. (275)
Friday February 22, 2013, 8:50 am

Obama Appoints Record Number of Gay Judges, but Senate Obstruction Persists
by Eric Lesh, Fair Courts Project Manager
February 8, 2013

Today, it is more important than ever that our courts reflect the growing diversity of our country, but we have a long way to go. There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are white men.

Federal courts are charged with providing everyone with equal access to justice, and yet justice has not always been a reality for some. A diverse judicial system serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts.

During his first term, 44 percent of President Obama’s federal judicial nominees were women—chiefly among them his only Supreme Court appointments, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Nearly 40 percent of his nominees were people of color, and only 38 percent were white males.

President Obama has nominated an unprecedented nine openly gay nominees to the federal bench.

At the start of the new Congress, President Obama renominated 33 judicial candidates, including the first gay African-American judge, William L. Thomas, and lesbian Latina judge, Nitza Quiñones Alejandro. If confirmed by the Senate, they will join openly LGBT judges Pamela Ki Mai Chen, Michael Fitzgerald, Paul Oetken, Alison Nathan and Deborah Batts on the federal district courts.

Yesterday, President Obama announced the nomination of Todd Hughes to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If confirmed, Hughes would become the first openly gay appeals court judge in the country.

While Hughes’ confirmation would make judicial history, this is not the first time that President Obama has nominated an openly gay attorney to a federal court of appeals. In 2010, President Obama nominated Edward C. DuMont to the Federal Circuit. After his nomination languished for 18 months with no action from the Senate, DuMont withdrew his name from consideration.

This highlights the relentless obstruction in the Senate of federal judicial nominees. This delay and dysfunction has given rise to a judicial vacancy crisis that means many Americans wait months or even years to get a chance to stand up for their rights in court.

Federal courts issue decisions that affect nearly every aspect of life for LGBT people. With the Supreme Court deciding less than 100 cases a year, it is the appellate courts that have the final say in many of the most important cases. Likewise, federal district courts provide the gateway for achieving broader civil rights victories by issuing findings of fact that frame the cases and legal issues going forward.
 

Teresa W. (691)
Friday February 22, 2013, 8:52 am
noted
 

Tim C. (1891)
Friday February 22, 2013, 8:53 am
thanks
 

Jae A. (323)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:32 am
Excellent article/read. The rightwing are scared to the bone when it comes to diversity. They fear they will have to step up and compete with a greater number of people, lessoning their chances to control everything. THe GOP know only way of spending their days...being obstructionist period. We need judges now ! Not more insanitea from the GOP !!!!!
 

JL A. (275)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:59 am
Good points Jae! You are welcome Tim.
 

John B. (215)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 5:50 am
Thanks J.L. for posting this excellent. Obstructionism still remains the tool of the GOP. They will certainly regret that in 2014. Read and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 8:51 am
You are welcome john.
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
 

John Gregoire (255)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 6:29 am
For those who haven't heard, Washington State just passed both laws - gay marriage and legalized marijuana.

The fact that gay marriage and marijuana were legalized on the same day makes perfect biblical sense because Leviticus 20:13 says "If a man lies with another man they should be stoned."

We just hadn't interpreted it correctly before!

 

Arielle S. (317)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 8:01 am
LOL, John G, you are too funny! I think you should send your comment to the GOP - I'm so sure they would see the humor! Btw, congratulations to Washington State for having all that common sense!
 

Arielle S. (317)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 8:02 am
"There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are white men." And just look ow well ltaht has turned out..... our entire legal system could use a good cleansing...
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 8:12 am
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.Yes, LOL.
You cannot currently send a star to Arielle because you have done so within the last week.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (453)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 10:45 am
Interesting article. Appointing judges is one matter, Obama's promise of a gay marriage bill is another.
 

Ro H. (0)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 11:48 am
ty
 

James Maynard (68)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 1:10 pm
Remember the song "Blame Canada!" which
took on a new life in 2001 as "Blame Florida!"?
I am now singing it with the words "Blame
Harry Reid!"
*sigh*
 

Birgit W. (144)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 4:25 pm
Noted
 

Colleen L. (2)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 5:49 pm
Never will understand how these people in congress can go to work each day to do their jobs, yet all they do is create more frustrating problems among themselves. I like the saying that Obama saids to us people, " We need to change" I want to say to them "that they need to all grow-up and change, this is 2013 not the 1900's.Thanks J. L.
.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 6:12 pm
You are welcome Ro and Colleen.
You cannot currently send a star to Allan because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to James because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Colleen because you have done so within the last week.
 

Robert K. (31)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 7:58 pm
"Good/ am glad for the resistance! Too much gay stuff being shoved upon heterosexuals. "

If you're serious, you're seriously stupid. It isn't about "fay stuff" being forced on you bigots, it's solely about everyone being treated equally.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 9:09 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last week.
 

Robert O. (12)
Monday February 25, 2013, 12:45 am
No surprise since Congress (especially the conservative members) are not too big on progress and even less amicable towards the concepts of acceptance, compassion, tolerance and human decency. Obstructionism is in their blood and the battle for equality is going to be a bloody one (figuratively of course). Thanks J.L. A.

You cannot currently send a star to J.L. because you have done so within the last week.
 

Sharon Tyson (72)
Monday February 25, 2013, 4:29 am
The intolerance is blatant by the GOP. They will site their Christianity as their top reason. We all know that it is bigotry - plain and simple. Jesus would not act this way!
 

paul m. (93)
Monday February 25, 2013, 5:44 am

Thanks for ..
 

Ro H. (0)
Monday February 25, 2013, 6:37 am
ty
 

JL A. (275)
Monday February 25, 2013, 7:39 am
You are welcome Robert, Paul and Ro.
Excellent points Robert and Sharon. Thanks for wanting to Robert.
You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Sharon because you have done so within the last week.
 

mike hankins (1)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:18 am
First off I not repub or dem,both parties are working for the same people and its not the American people.Having that out of the way on to homosexuals I have no problem with them either I have gay male and female relatives we're all people and i am white with a black girlfriend and what others might call a biracial son though to me he's just my son.But this whole article is racially and sexually biased while speaking on how bad it is to be biased.ahat ever happened to who's qualified? is it right to exclude more qualified people to be diverse?isn't that discrimination?
 

JL A. (275)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:59 am
I haven't seen any evidence that "more qualified" people were left out of the nominees Nonya--and the rest of your analysis seems to require that as its foundation and without it is unsupported. Can you provide that evidence?
 

Jane Mckenzie (20)
Monday February 25, 2013, 12:50 pm
progress of sorts
 

Leanne B. (27)
Monday February 25, 2013, 1:40 pm
Noted thanks.
 

Marc P. (34)
Monday February 25, 2013, 2:49 pm
Now if Obama could appoint some SCOTUS Justices that would adhere to the Constitution we would be all set....
 

Jean C. (18)
Monday February 25, 2013, 5:09 pm
Political chess.
 

JL A. (275)
Monday February 25, 2013, 5:33 pm
You are welcome Leanne.
 

Lynn Squance (232)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:39 pm
I have heard it said about several gay judges that they are going to be biased. And I am sure the same kinds of things were said about the first African American judges, the first Hispanic judges, the first women, the first . . . well I'm sure you get the point. I just shake my head in disbelief. Why should a LGBT judge be any more biased than an African American, Hispanic, female or white male judge? The guide is the law, not the person in the robes. Having said that, we all come with our own interpretations but that is when case law should help sort things out. And that is why attorneys "argue" their case because sometimes there needs to be more clarity. The notion of all white male judges fits right in with the Republican/Teabagger meme of discrimination and bigotry. A bunch of old angry white men who fear the loss of their power more than they celebrate the diversity of the people.

Of course, we all know that the angry white males in the senate, some of whom are frustrated lawyers, are going to obstruct anything and everything just because they have the power, which the DINO Harry Reid let them keep. Arrggghhhh!!!!!
 

JL A. (275)
Monday February 25, 2013, 11:17 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Lynn because you have done so within the last week.
 

Stephanie Reap (192)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 12:17 pm
surprise, surprise, surprise....:(
 

Diana Bair (7)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 3:34 pm
The gays are NOT.....THE....PROBLEM!!!!!!, So called GOP IS!!!!! Can anyone tell me.....THERE ARE NO GAY......REPUBLICIANS!!!!?????????,,,,,THEY WOULD BE......LYING!!!!!.......THIS PARTY IS JUST A PARTY OF LYING......HYPOCRITES!!!!!!, AND PHONY CHRISTIANS, YOU....CANNOT CHASE AFTER ...A DEAD...ATHIEST...AND GO BY HER....TEACHINGS....AND ..LIE..AND SAY YOU ARE A....CHRISTIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....LOOK UP ...AYN RAND!!!!!!!!. PAUL RYAN,RAND PAUL,,,,etc,,...WORSHIP.......HER...NOT.....JESUS.....RAND PAUL WAS EVEN NAMED...AFTER ..HER. BY HIS AYN RAND LOVING...FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!. Diana.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:41 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Diana because you have done so within the last week.
 

marie c. (168)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:56 pm
Two faces noted thanks
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 5:04 pm
You cannot currently send a star to marie because you have done so within the last week.
 

Shirley B. (5)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:52 pm
John is hilarious--Arielle is right--J.L Thanks for the post.
 

JL A. (275)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:54 pm
You are welcome Shirley!
 

donald Baumgartner (4)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 7:51 am
VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014!!!
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 9:17 am
A larger supermajority could make a difference on such issues for sure Donald! You cannot currently send a star to donald because you have done so within the last day.
 
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