Friday, January 17, 2014


Obama nominates out lesbian lawyer for U. S. Court
Staci Michelle Yandle
WASHINGTON -- The White House announced Thursday that President Obama has nominated out lesbian attorney Staci Michelle Yandle, to serve in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Yandle, who is currently in private practice, if confirmed by the Senate, will be the first openly LGBT judge in the U. S. Seventh Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The president had also nominated his first Hispanic judge – Salvador Mendoza, Jr., a county Superior Court Judge in Washington State –  for the Eastern District of Illinois where he would be the first Hispanic judge in that position.
“I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” the president said. “I am confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”
The president's nomination of Yandle comes after the White House acknowledged earlier this month that it was not going to resubmit the nomination of openly gay Judge William Thomas, to serve on the U. S. District Court for Southern Florida after Republican Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blocked Thomas' nomination from moving forward. A White House official confirmed that the administration was not going to resubmit Thomas' nomination.
"The nomination of Judge William Thomas was returned by the Senate and Senator Rubio has made his objection clear, so the President chose not to renominate him," the official said.
Had Thomas been confirmed, he would have become the first openly gay black male to preside at the federal level.
The Washington Blade notes:
Yandle wouldn’t be the first openly lesbian African American to serve on the federal judiciary. That distinction belongs to Deborah Batts, whom the Senate confirmed during the Clinton administration in 1994 for a seat on the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York.