Yesterday the US Senate confirmed Alison Nathan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a 48 to 44 vote along party lines. Nathan is the third openly gay judge to be confirmed to serve as a federal judge.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese stated, “We commend the Senate for their important vote today, confirming Alison Nathan to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Nathan’s demonstrated intellect and dedication to public service is a model of achievement. She will join Judges Deborah Batts and Paul Oetken in the Southern District of New York as the only openly lesbian or gay federal judges. We look forward to the day when the makeup of the entire federal bench truly represents the diverse American public”
Despite President Obama’s dedication to increasing the gender, racial and ethnographic diversity of the federal judges bench, his judicial nominations have been blocked more than any other president. Republican Senators are either putting holds on appointments or threatening to or are filibustering. Only 97 of President Obama’s 155 judicial nominees have been confirmed. The rate of judicial confirmations of President Obama’s nominees is only 62.6 percent, compared with George W. Bush’s rate of 86.8 percent and Bill Clinton’s rate of 84.2 percent.
Human Rights Campaign Statement 10/13/11; Reuters 10/13/11; Salt Lake Tribune 10/13/11