Obama nominates fourth openly gay judicial candidate to a federal court

Michael W. Fitzgerald LGBTQ Nation

Michael W. Fitzgerald

President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated attorney Michael W. Fitzgerald to the federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the first openly gay nominee for a federal judgeship in California, and the fourth openly gay judicial candidate appointed by Obama.

Fitzgerald, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the seven-county Central District that includes Los Angeles, would be the first openly gay judge on the U.S. District Court for the region and the only one in the state after the recent resignation of Judge Vaughn Walker from the San Francisco-based Northern District.

Fitzgerald, 51, “will serve the people of California with distinction on the District Court bench,” Obama said in the statement announcing his choice for one of the busiest courts in the nation.

“I am honored to nominate Michael Walter Fitzgerald to the United States District Court,” Obama said in a statement. “His impressive career stands as a testament to his formidable intellect and integrity. I am confident he will serve the people of California with distinction on the District Court bench.”

“Michael’s sharp intellect, record of public service and broad legal experience will be a real asset on the federal bench,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who recommended Fitzgerald to Obama.

Fitzgerald is the fourth openly gay judicial candidate appointed by Obama.

Paul Oetken, was confirmed by the Senate on Monday to a judgeship in New York City. Another New York nominee, Alison Nathan, won Senate Judiciary Committee approval last week, and the third, Edward DuMont, was nominated in April 2010 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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