Barack Obama | Florida | News

Obama Nominates Out Black Judge To Federal Court

Judge_william_l_thomas1President Obama nominated seven new federal judges yesterday, including an out gay black man named Judge William Thomas to sit on the U.S. District Court in Southern Florida.

Together, said Obama, the nominees "represent my continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves."

"These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system," said Obama in a statement. "I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity. Too many of our courtrooms stand empty. I hope the Senate will promptly consider all of my nominees and ensure justice for everyday Americans."

BuzzFeed notes that Thomas, if confirmed by the Senate, will be the first out black man to serve as a federal judge. He is the third out judge President Obama has nominated, though. Obama previously nominated Pamela Ki Mai Chen to serve on the U.S. District Court in Eastern New York, while Judge Michael McShane, also gay, was suggested as a judge for the U.S. District Court in Oregon.

There's no word on when nominees could be confirmed, though: Congress has been particularly slow in confirming President Obama's various judicial nominations.

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  1. I think President Obama has nominated other out folks for the federal bench than those listed. Hon. Paul Oetken of the SDNY comes to mind, and I think there may have been others as well.

    Posted by: prcm | Nov 15, 2012 8:47:25 AM

  2. As per the above, there are 2 other out nominees currently pending (not "suggested"), but there have been 6 total nominated. Edward DuMont was nominated to the Federal Circuit, but withdrew after GOP stonewalling. Allison Nathan, Paul Oetken, and Michael Fitzgerald were all confirmed.

    Posted by: Factcheck | Nov 15, 2012 10:13:12 AM

  3. Big steps. Well done from Obama.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 15, 2012 10:15:49 AM

  4. "an out gay black man named Judge William Thomas"

    REALLY? His name is Judge William Thomas? What a coincidence!

    Also, your facts are wrong. See, e.g., the Hon. Paul Oetken.

    You always know when Belonsky is posting . . .

    Posted by: Ha! | Nov 15, 2012 10:15:55 AM

  5. Obama hasn't made judges much of a priority. There's a huge number of court vacancies. Getting his picks confirmed would require lots of fights with the Republicans in the Senate and Obama hates fights. Well, who knows. Maybe this time ...

    Posted by: Glenn I | Nov 15, 2012 12:44:46 PM

  6. "...and Obama hates fights."

    I don't know, Glenn I. Did you see his press conferences yesterday? I saw all kind of tough Chicago stuff coming out of him. Watch out Miss Lindsay Graham.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 15, 2012 12:54:27 PM

  7. @Derrick,

    Ms Graham is generally a paragon of bipartisanship. Aside from his being a brought and paid for shill for the Israeli lobby, he's a pussycat.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 15, 2012 1:17:32 PM


    Posted by: Shannon | Nov 15, 2012 3:58:19 PM

  9. Thank you Mr Obama, Hopefully Judge William Thomas will make us proud.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 15, 2012 5:17:37 PM

  10. Time to bin the filibuster at least for Judicial Nominations. the Dems do retain a majority in the Senate. It is incredibly inefficient to leave so many vacancies on the bench.

    Posted by: Keith | Nov 15, 2012 9:10:43 PM

  11. YAY!

    Posted by: Andy | Nov 16, 2012 3:41:49 AM

  12. I have a problem this judge jeffery schelmel l sat over my son case. Judge schelmel, mark baldwin and williams bespels railroaded my son, robert youngs lll, he was set up by mark baldwin and each stage of his appeal judge schelmel denied his rights...he had alibi witness that were not allowed to testify of my sons where abouts on june 26, 2000. He will abuse the bench as his disgraced coworker mark.c.baldwin and william bispels ...look up the case, my son got a life sentence base on the words of a man driven to set innocense people up for life.

    Posted by: Robert Youngs | Mar 17, 2013 1:01:37 PM

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