Sen. Marco Rubio Obstructs First Gay Black Judge Nominated To The Federal Bench

6a00d8341c730253ef017ee527ef8f970d-piBack in November, President Obama nominated out gay Judge William Thomas for a seat on the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Unfortunately, Judge Thomas is still waiting to be confirmed by the US Senate while many of President Obama's other judicial nominees appointed at the same time have already been confirmed. The Washington Blade today reports that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and a little blue slip of paper are the only things standing in the way of advancing Thomas' confirmation.

When it comes to senate confirmations of Presidential appointees to the bench, senators on the judiciary committee are not the only ones who get to weigh in. Senators from a nominee's home state are involved as well and provided with "blue slips" they must then submit in order for the confirmation process to continue. However, as the United States Senate Committe on the Judiciary notes, "The
return of a positive "blue slip" is not a commitment by either home
state Senator to support or oppose, a pending nomination." The purpose rather is to "encourage consultation" and respect the senator's "interest in nominees from their home state." Though Florida's other senator, Bill Nelson, recently submitted his blue slip, perhaps due to recent media scrutiny surrounding his inaction on Thomas' confirmation, Rubio has yet to submit his, without concrete explanation, his office not responding, "to repeated requests from the Blade over
the past two weeks to comment on why he continues to hold up the Thomas

RubioNow LGBT groups and others are calling for movement on Thomas' nomination. The Washington Blade reports:

Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign, is among those calling for Rubio to take action.

“He should return the blue slip and allow this well-qualified jurist
to get confirmed by the U.S. Senate,” Sainz said. “The federal district
court system is already backlogged. There’s no good reason why justice
should be further delayed when Judge Thomas is ready, willing and able
to serve.”


  1. Mike says

    What gives any senator the right to hold up any presidential nominee? The constitution mandates that the senate, as a body, “advise and consent.” This extra-constitutional power these puffed up little tyrants have granted themselves to hold up government is BS. If he has a problem with the nominee, he should argue it in committee or on the senate floor. He shouldn’t be able to hide from the public behind a blue slip of paper like a coward.

  2. Michael Bedwell says

    Uh, you left out a key word that your source article didn’t: “male.”

    As the Blade notes, the first out gay black judge was Deborah Batts, appointed by President Clinton in 1994.

  3. JimH says

    Rubio is a fake as fake can be and a liar too. Read about his fake family history about coming to the USA from Cuba. The whole family water skied from Cuba to Miami wearing Uncle Sam drag and carrying flaming torches because of Castro and and the revolution. But you will find out that they got here well before Castro did a dam thing. His citizenship should be withdrawn and the whole group of them sent swimming back to their homeland.

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