Senate Approves First Openly Gay Black Federal Judge

Senate Approves First Openly Gay Black Federal Judge

The Senate approves the first openly gay black judge, Darrin Gayles.

Published June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate for the first time confirmed an openly gay black man to become a top-level federal judge. By a 98-0 vote Tuesday,senators approved President Barack Obama's choice of Darrin Gayles to join a district court in Florida.

By 52-44, senators also endorsed Obama's pick of Staci Yandle, an openly gay black woman, to serve on a federal district court in Illinois. While that is not a first, the White House said that vote was a milestone 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 appointed the most Hispanics — 31 — to the federal bench of any president.

In a blog post, presidential counsel Neil Eggleston called it "a historic day for our judiciary."

"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 serve as future role models, Eggleston said.

Appointments to top-tier federal judgeships — the Supreme Court, circuit courts of appeals and district courts — are lifetime.

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(Photo: Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images)

Written by Associated Press


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