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News & Politics News & Politics

Senate Confirms Gay, Black Judges

Posted by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM
  • 43 Replies

Senate Confirms Gay, Black Judges

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WASHINGTON -- The Senate made history on Tuesday with its vote to confirm Darrin Gayles to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Gayles, who was confirmed 98-0, is the nation's first openly gay African-American man to be confirmed to the federal bench. His vote came just after the Senate confirmed Staci Yandle to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, by a vote of 52-44. She marks some milestones of her own as the first black lesbian federal judge in two decades and the second one in the nation's history. The first, Judge Deborah Batts, was sworn in during June 1994.

"Never before in the course of the history of our state has there been an Article III federal judge who is openly a member of the LGBT community," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said ahead of Yandle's vote. "In short, Staci Yandle's confirmation marks another important milestone in America's journey toward equality of opportunity."

By a vote of 92-4, the Senate also confirmed Salvador Mendoza to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, making him the first Hispanic federal judge to serve in that region of Washington.

The latest confirmations come as the Senate has been plowing through President Barack Obama's nominees, and they reflect the diversity that will remain on the federal judiciary long after he is gone.

A White House aide said Obama has appointed more female judges than any other president, breaking the record previously set by President Bill Clinton. He has also appointed more Hispanic judges than any other president, breaking the record previously held by President George W. Bush. Obama has also appointed more Asian-American judges than all presidents combined and has nominated 12 openly gay federal judges. Last month, the Senate confirmed the first-ever Native American female federal judge in the nation's history.

Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, an association of more than 100 organizations focused on the federal judiciary, hailed the Senate for making progress in filling out the federal bench, but noted that "shameful Republican obstruction" means there are still too many empty federal courts that don't even have a nominee in the queue. Senators are responsible for kicking off the nominations process by recommending home-state picks to the White House, and some senators simply aren't making recommendations.

"That obstruction continues, as can be seen in the fact that there remain 34 judgeships for which no one has been nominated -- 29 of them in states with at least one Republican senator," Aron said.


by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MsDenuninani
by Bronze Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

It sounds like Obama is finally attending to the federal bench, something legal geeks have been wanting him to do for a long, long time.

I'm guessing this became more urgent once he realized that the chances of Dems keeping the Senate aren't very good.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM
2 moms liked this

Hopefully they are competent and weren't simply nominated due to their protected status.

erika9009
by Silver Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 5:34 PM
4 moms liked this

Why is his race and sexual pref any issue?

Is he qualified??  That's the question.

lancet98
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Sounds like the author of the article has trouble differentiating between 'one' and 'more than one'.

Not inspirational.

denise3680
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Professional career

  • 2011-2014: Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Civil Division, in Florida
  • 2004-2011: County Judge, Miami-Dade County Court
  • 1999-2004: Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
  • 1997-1999: Assistant District Counsel, United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • 1993-1997: Assistant State Attorney, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
  • 1992-1993: Legal Intern, United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • 1991: Legal Intern, United States Department of Labor, Director of Civil Rights
  • 1990-1991: Salesman, Woodward & Lothrup[4][7][8]

Judicial career

Southern District of Florida

Nomination Tracker
  Candidate: Darrin P. Gayles
  Court: Southern District of Florida
  Progress: Confirmed 131 days after nomination.
ApprovedA Nominated: February 6, 2014
ApprovedA ABA Rating: Majority Qualified, Minority Well Qualified
ApprovedA Questionnaire: Questionnaire
ApprovedA Hearing: April 1, 2014
ApprovedA QFRs: QFRs
ApprovedA Reported: May 8, 2014 
ApprovedA Confirmed: June 17, 2014
  Vote: 98-0

On February 6, 2014, Darrin P. Gayles was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Gayles was nominated to fill a vacancy created when Patricia Seitz took senior status on November 16, 2012. If he is confirmed, Gayles would be the first openly gay black judge of the federal courts. On his nomination and three others:

Throughout their careers, these distinguished men and women have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service. I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the District Court bench.

[9]

—President Barack Obama[2]

Senator Marco Rubio, who blocked the nomination of Willam Thomas by not returning a blue slip, had this to say about the nominations:

I do not anticipate having an objection to moving forward on any of these nominations pending the outcome of the customary background check conducted on every nominee.

[9]

—Senator Marco Rubio[1]

As of late March 2014, both Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson submitted their blue slips in support of the nomination of Gayles.[10]

Gayles was rated Majority Qualified, Minority Well Qualified by the American Bar Association.[11]

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for Gayles on April 1, 2014.[12] Gayles was reported out of the committee on May 8, 2014 by a voice vote.[13]

The United States Senate confirmed Gayles on June 17, 2014, on a vote of 98-0. He is the first openly gay black man to serve on the federal judiciary.[3][1]

Awards and associations

Awards

  • 2013: Legacy 50: South Florida's Most Powerful Black Business Leaders of 2013, Legacy Magazine
  • 2010: Distinguished Alumni Award, Peoria High School
  • 2008: Making and Impact Award, The George Washington University Black Alumni Association
  • 2008: Outstanding Public Service Award, The National Black Justice Coalition
  • 2007: Mentor of the Year Award, St. Thomas University Black Law Students Association
  • 2006: South Florida's Most Influential Black Professional Under 40, Success South Florida Magazine
  • 1999: Dedicated Service Award, Big Brothers'Big Sisters of Greater Miami
  • 1989-1990: Elected Student Member, Howard University Board of Trustees
  • 1989-1990: Howard University's Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Program Fellow
  • 1989: Regional Champion and National Quarter-Finalist, Howard University Speech Team
  • 1986-1990: Howard University Academic Scholarship[8]

Associations

  • 2010-2012: Chairman, Board of Directors, Peter London Global Dance Theater
  • 2010-2011: Advisory Board, Success for Kids, Inc., South Florida
  • 2008-2011: Board of Directors, The George Washington University Law School Alumni Association
  • 2006-Present: Board of Directors, Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court
  • 2002-2004: Board of Directors, BAME Development Corporation of South Florida, Inc.
  • 2001-2011: Board of Trustees, Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1997-2004: Howard University Alumni Association of South Florida
  • 2000-2004: Acting President
  • 1997-2000: President[8]
 
PamR
by Platinum Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Because it's a first - and, yes he's qualified. 

Quoting erika9009:

Why is his race and sexual pref any issue?

Is he qualified??  That's the question.


erika9009
by Silver Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:49 PM
3 moms liked this

Why do we even need to rank this as a first?

He's a judge. I hope he's a good, impartial one.  That should be the end of it.  We have racism because we distinguish between the races. 

Last time I checked we were all Americans, not black Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans.

Call me racist for wanting race to be irrelevant, if you must.

When this country starts referring to this judge (or any other judge) as Pres Obama's most recent appointment with x,y,z qualifications, then we are getting somewhere.

Quoting PamR:

Because it's a first - and, yes he's qualified. 

Quoting erika9009:

Why is his race and sexual pref any issue?

Is he qualified??  That's the question.



____________________________________________________

Erika..

The best things in life are not things.

PamR
by Platinum Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM
5 moms liked this

Because in the past he would have had to hide his sexual orientation. Because minorities and women are not even close to being on par with white males in these jobs. And hopefully one day soon, it will be irrelevant. 

Quoting erika9009:

Why do we even need to rank this as a first?

He's a judge. I hope he's a good, impartial one.  That should be the end of it.  We have racism because we distinguish between the races. 

Last time I checked we were all Americans, not black Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans.

Call me racist for wanting race to be irrelevant, if you must.

When this country starts referring to this judge (or any other judge) as Pres Obama's most recent appointment with x,y,z qualifications, then we are getting somewhere.

Quoting PamR:

Because it's a first - and, yes he's qualified. 

Quoting erika9009:

Why is his race and sexual pref any issue?

Is he qualified??  That's the question.




Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jun. 18, 2014 at 8:27 AM
2 moms liked this

 looks as if he received a bunch of praise from the usual Black, Liberal, Leftist, organizations.

Yeah, probably not going to be an activist judge at all.   eye rolling

Quoting denise3680:

Professional career

  • 2011-2014: Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Civil Division, in Florida
  • 2004-2011: County Judge, Miami-Dade County Court
  • 1999-2004: Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
  • 1997-1999: Assistant District Counsel, United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • 1993-1997: Assistant State Attorney, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
  • 1992-1993: Legal Intern, United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • 1991: Legal Intern, United States Department of Labor, Director of Civil Rights
  • 1990-1991: Salesman, Woodward & Lothrup[4][7][8]

Judicial career

Southern District of Florida

Nomination Tracker
  Candidate: Darrin P. Gayles
  Court: Southern District of Florida
  Progress: Confirmed 131 days after nomination.
ApprovedA Nominated: February 6, 2014
ApprovedA ABA Rating: Majority Qualified, Minority Well Qualified
ApprovedA Questionnaire: Questionnaire
ApprovedA Hearing: April 1, 2014
ApprovedA QFRs: QFRs
ApprovedA Reported: May 8, 2014 
ApprovedA Confirmed: June 17, 2014
  Vote: 98-0

On February 6, 2014, Darrin P. Gayles was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Gayles was nominated to fill a vacancy created when Patricia Seitz took senior status on November 16, 2012. If he is confirmed, Gayles would be the first openly gay black judge of the federal courts. On his nomination and three others:

Throughout their careers, these distinguished men and women have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service. I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the District Court bench.

[9]

—President Barack Obama[2]

Senator Marco Rubio, who blocked the nomination of Willam Thomas by not returning a blue slip, had this to say about the nominations:

I do not anticipate having an objection to moving forward on any of these nominations pending the outcome of the customary background check conducted on every nominee.

[9]

—Senator Marco Rubio[1]

As of late March 2014, both Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson submitted their blue slips in support of the nomination of Gayles.[10]

Gayles was rated Majority Qualified, Minority Well Qualified by the American Bar Association.[11]

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for Gayles on April 1, 2014.[12] Gayles was reported out of the committee on May 8, 2014 by a voice vote.[13]

The United States Senate confirmed Gayles on June 17, 2014, on a vote of 98-0. He is the first openly gay black man to serve on the federal judiciary.[3][1]

Awards and associations

Awards

  • 2013: Legacy 50: South Florida's Most Powerful Black Business Leaders of 2013, Legacy Magazine
  • 2010: Distinguished Alumni Award, Peoria High School
  • 2008: Making and Impact Award, The George Washington University Black Alumni Association
  • 2008: Outstanding Public Service Award, The National Black Justice Coalition
  • 2007: Mentor of the Year Award, St. Thomas University Black Law Students Association
  • 2006: South Florida's Most Influential Black Professional Under 40, Success South Florida Magazine
  • 1999: Dedicated Service Award, Big Brothers'Big Sisters of Greater Miami
  • 1989-1990: Elected Student Member, Howard University Board of Trustees
  • 1989-1990: Howard University's Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Program Fellow
  • 1989: Regional Champion and National Quarter-Finalist, Howard University Speech Team
  • 1986-1990: Howard University Academic Scholarship[8]

Associations

  • 2010-2012: Chairman, Board of Directors, Peter London Global Dance Theater
  • 2010-2011: Advisory Board, Success for Kids, Inc., South Florida
  • 2008-2011: Board of Directors, The George Washington University Law School Alumni Association
  • 2006-Present: Board of Directors, Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court
  • 2002-2004: Board of Directors, BAME Development Corporation of South Florida, Inc.
  • 2001-2011: Board of Trustees, Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1997-2004: Howard University Alumni Association of South Florida
  • 2000-2004: Acting President
  • 1997-2000: President[8]
 

 

erika9009
by Silver Member on Jun. 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM
3 moms liked this

"on par?"

So like we have to have a quota for each group? 

Let's say you have a big case.  Would you want yours heard be a judge that was put there to fill a female quota, or the most qualified and impartial judge?

Quoting PamR:

Because in the past he would have had to hide his sexual orientation. Because minorities and women are not even close to being on par with white males in these jobs. And hopefully one day soon, it will be irrelevant. 

Quoting erika9009:

Why do we even need to rank this as a first?

He's a judge. I hope he's a good, impartial one.  That should be the end of it.  We have racism because we distinguish between the races. 

Last time I checked we were all Americans, not black Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans.

Call me racist for wanting race to be irrelevant, if you must.

When this country starts referring to this judge (or any other judge) as Pres Obama's most recent appointment with x,y,z qualifications, then we are getting somewhere.

Quoting PamR:

Because it's a first - and, yes he's qualified. 

Quoting erika9009:

Why is his race and sexual pref any issue?

Is he qualified??  That's the question.





____________________________________________________

Erika..

The best things in life are not things.

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You must be a member to reply to this post.
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