Senate OKs First Openly Gay Black Federal Judge
The Senate for the first time confirmed an openly gay black man to a top-level federal judgeship on Tuesday, voting 98-0 to make Darrin Gayles a district court judge in Florida.
By 52-44, senators endorsed another of President Barack Obama’s nominees, approving Staci Yandle, an openly gay black woman, to join a federal district court in Illinois. While that is not a first, the White House said that vote was a landmark because it brought to 112 the number of female federal judges appointed by Obama, more than any previous president.
In a third roll call, the Senate voted 92-4 to make Salvador Mendoza a federal district judge in Washington state. The White House said Obama has now appointed the most Hispanics - 31 - to the federal bench of any president.
Presidential counsel Neil Eggleston called it "a historic day for our judiciary" in a blog post.
"These milestones are important not because these judges will consider cases differently, but because a judiciary that better resembles our nation instills even greater confidence in our justice system" and can serve as a future role model, Eggleston wrote.