Senator Marco Rubio Succeeds in Blocking Gay Black Judge’s Nomination to Federal Bench

Earlier this year we reported that Senator Marco Rubio was holding up the confirmation of Judge William Thomas to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas serves on the Miami Dade Circuit and was nominated more than a year ago.

ThomasIn September, Rubio withdrew his support for the nomination. Rubio said he withdrew his support because of Thomas's actions in two criminal cases, and without Rubio's support the nomination was dead. Florida's other Senator, Bill Nelson, had given his full approval. Supporters of Thomas believed Rubioblocked the nomination for political reasons.

Yesterday, news came that Rubio had succeeded in thwarting Thomas's nomination.

A White House official confirmed for the Washington Blade that Thomas wasn’t resubmitted.

“The nomination of Judge William Thomas was returned by the Senate and Sen. Rubio has made his objection clear, so the president chose not to renominate him,” the official said.

Had Thomas been confirmed by the Senate, he would have been the first openly gay black male to sit on the federal bench. (Deborah Batts, confirmed to the federal bench in 1994 and the first-ever out person to sit on the federal judiciary, is also black.)


  1. DannyEastVillage says

    Sorry for it. Wouldn’t have minded seeing a hottie like Judge Thomas on the bench of the District Court. I’m just sayin’.

  2. Mike Ryan says

    Those of you in Florida – get off your cans and get Rubio out of office. Start working now and don’t stop until he is gone.

  3. Carmen says

    I know in my heart and soul this was done because he is openly gay
    he can sugar coat this but we all know this is the main issue
    I feel we should make a petition to over turn rubio decision What do you think like if you agree

  4. MFinBH says

    @Carmen: Judicial appointments to the Federal District Court have to get past the Senate Judiciary Committee. In this case neither of the Senators for the 11th District [Deep South + FL] come from Florida, therefore the 2 sitting senators from the state in which the nominee will serve are allowed to weigh in on the advise & consent function. Rubio’s “ney” killed this appointment.

    Rubio’s days are numbered because his younger constituents are going to be very turned off by the 39 year old Latino behaving like an 85 year old Son of the Confederacy.

  5. Richard says

    Rubio — what can you expect from a Catholic who was once a Mormon and is now just another Southern homophobic racist carrying water for the evangelicals.

  6. simon says

    Judges are unpredictable. Like Judge Shelby of Utah who was recommended by both Utah Republican senators, did something most Republicans don’t like.

  7. L G. says

    everything i would have said IS said in the comments so far
    thanks for Rubio´s nasty comments! i can only say screw Rubio x 100

  8. bambinoitaliano says

    Dinosaurs are not the only one that eats themselves to extinction. We live among unevolve and selfish human like this one that would eventually cause the extinction of our own species.

  9. Ricardo says

    Either Florida LGBT are really lazy…or, well, Florida LGBT are very lazy. If you look at a map of the states with the most LGBT populace and presence, Florida is the only one with a sizeable LGBT population and the least amount of LGBT protection.
    Other state’s with far less of an LGBT presence than FL are far more evolved. This makes me believe LGBT in Florida are essentially WAITING for change to occur, and for the most part, rather complacent.

  10. Kevin says

    @ Ricardo, having lived in Florida (and many number of other state’s) I would concur with your sentiments and say they are pretty factual. I tried doing grass roots work here and LGBT in this state just aren’t as engaged in politics. And yes, I do think LGBT presence makes a considerable different in our rights. Other state’s have a coalition. Florida LGBT are rather passive. The Miami police force, for example, is notoriously homophobic with video and audio proving so, which you would think would get the ire of local LGBT, but not so much. I eventually just moved out here to Mass where things are far more promising and fantastic actually

  11. miami says

    The sad thing is that Judge Wm Thomas was a really nice, laid back, and professional guy. He really should have been seated on that Court. He is actually a really good judge. What can we expect from Rubio, who should not be under-estimated. He didnt muscle out others to become FL House Speaker because he is a nice guy or an ideologue, he is ruthless, calculating, and VERY ambitious. He really cares nothing for the Tea Party, he will play any card he has to to get ahead. He will not go away easily or defeated by any Democrat in FL. His last FL Democratic opponent was a puppet arranged by his campaign and the candidate’s lobbyist mother. His next Democrat opponent will be the same kind of puppet unless he wants to run for the Presidency.

  12. JackFknTwist says

    So politicians think they know better than independent judges, who unlike politicians, are not beholden to the whims and the prejudices of racists, homophobes and bigots.

    Rubio is a damned soul with his squalor principles and his putrid rants.

  13. jamal49 says

    Marco Rubio, a closet case if there ever was one, uses a power he is too immature and to sissy to understand, to block a qualified judge to a federal bench just so Marco can show his evangelical, tighty-righty bona fides to his base. Rubio is a punk, an execrable coward, and he had better understand that he will be a one-term Senator because nobody wants his punk ass back in the Senate. He’s a neo-Cuban to boot, those reactionary scumbags who have corrupted south Florida politics for generations since they fled like cowards from Cuba.

  14. woody says

    marco “elect-me-only-because-I’m-hispanic” rubio is a bad person. i hope this really hurts him with blacks and non-cuban hispanics.
    he’s as white as i am, so the phony minority shtick isn’t playing.