News (USA)

Reid to force vote on gay judicial nominee

Reid to force vote on gay judicial nominee

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday filed cloture on 17 federal judicial nominees — including an openly gay appointee — that have been barred from obtaining confirmation votes on the Senate floor.

Michael Key, Washington Blade
Harry Reid

Having been unable to obtain unanimous consent to move forward with the nominations, Reid filed cloture, meaning votes on the appointees take place after the Senate convenes on Wednesday and require consent from 60 senators to proceed.

Michael Fitzgerald, whom President Obama nominated to the bench in July, is among those who’ll receive a vote, according to a list published Monday by Senate Democrats.

Fitzgerald is the fourth out federal judicial nominee chosen by the White House. The Senate Judiciary Committee reported out his nomination in November unanimously by voice vote to the Senate floor, but his confirmation has been held up along with other nominees.

Upon confirmation, Fitzgerald would take a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and would be the first openly gay federal judge in that state.

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