Obama nominates gay African American judge to Federal Bench
President Obama has nominated Miami-Dade Judge William Thomas to serve on the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would be the first out LGBT black man to serve as a lifetime-tenured federal judge. In a statement, Obama noted the diversity of Thomas and six other nominees, saying, “They represent my continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves.”
Thomas is the first out LGBT black judge to be nominated by Obama, but, if approved by the Senate, he would be the second out LGBT black judge. The first, Judge Deborah Batts, also was the first out LGBT federal judge. She was nominated by President Clinton and sat on the Southern District of New York bench. She took “senior status,” a near retirement, earlier this year.