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Obama nominates openly gay, African American judge to federal bench

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sent the names of seven judges to the Senate Wednesday as his nominees for currently vacant slots in the federal judiciary, including an openly gay African-American nominee.

Judge William L. Thomas was nominated Wednesday to an opening on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

William Thomas

According to Judge Thomas’ biography, released Wednesday by the White House, Thomas has served as a circuit judge in Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit since 2005, presiding over civil as well as criminal cases.

Before his elevation to the 11th Circuit, Thomas was an Assistant United States Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida and also spent time as an assistant public defender for greater Miami-Dade County, Florida. He is a 1994 graduate of the Temple University School of Law.

In the statement released by the White House, the president called for immediate consideration of the nominees including Judge Thomas citing the fact that too many courts are lacking judges.

“These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system,” Obama said.

“They also represent my continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity.”

“Today’s announcement also reflects the President’s historic commitment to advancing a diverse judiciary that looks like America,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, in a statement. “If confirmed, these nominees would bring more women, minorities, and openly gay judges to courts to better reflect the nation they serve.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Thomas would become only the second out LGBT African-American to serve as a United States District Court judge.

Deborah Batts, nominated by then President Bill Clinton in 1994, to the District Court for the Southern District of New York, was the first openly LGBT African-American judge appointed to the federal judiciary.

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38 more reader comments:

  1. Congratulations

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:53pm
  2. that’s just awesome! <3

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:53pm
  3. Congratulations, and the best of luck to you! ^_^

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:54pm
  4. Go Obama….kicking doors down one at a time :)

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:55pm
  5. Fuck yeah. <3

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:55pm
  6. wooooo

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:56pm
  7. Yes!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:56pm
  8. nominates not appointed

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:57pm
  9. Oh Mardell. So serious.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:58pm
  10. See elections do matter!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:59pm
  11. Temple Univ. graduate! Go Philly!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:00pm
  12. Niiiiice!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:01pm
  13. Thats right…..

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:02pm
  14. Yeah!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:03pm
  15. Awesome.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:03pm
  16. Wonderful!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:03pm
  17. awesome paving the way for better things to come already I can see why everyone voted him in :D

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:04pm
  18. AWESOME WAY TO GO

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:04pm
  19. Yes!!! Now let’s get one on the U.S. Supreme Court after Hitler–um, I meant, Scalia, croaks…

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:08pm
  20. Progress!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:25pm
  21. Its about time!!1

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:25pm
  22. Oh, noes…they’re everywhere! >.<

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:26pm
  23. Where are those LGBTs who thought Obama didn’t really care about us now!?

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:29pm
  24. Love Obama

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:29pm
  25. Horray!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:29pm
  26. :D

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:29pm
  27. This is exactly the kind of judge the federal court needs!!!!!!!!! Things will change tremendously if he is elected, I think this is great, we need to figure out how to get him appointed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:32pm
  28. Let’s see how long the GOP can hold this one up. Sigh.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:38pm
  29. YES!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:39pm
  30. The world will only be a better place when instead of “Obama nominates openly gay, African American…” we can simply have “Obama nominates Judge William L. Thomas to an opening on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.” The world will never be a better place, if the first things we see are skin color, and sexual preference.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:41pm
  31. Unfortunatey. as some from that “side of the aisle’ are on the youngish side, which was George II intention.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:51pm
  32. I love youth. They are so naively positive and hopeful as if everything they think and do it is the first time that act or thought has occurred. I have been involved with EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL since the late 60′s. This is not a new concept and trust me Obama is not the answer or the Savior the young generation n is seeking.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:26pm
  33. Once again… LOVE our President!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:13pm
  34. Repeal DOMA!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:11pm
  35. YesBama

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:38am
  36. Nice. Awesome

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:27am
  37. Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:52am
  38. waiting for his supreme court nominations if we have retirements!

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 6:55pm