PHOTO: MIAMI HERALD
Change that we can believe. The White House announced that President Obama has nominated Judge William Thomas, an out Black gay man, to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas has served as a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judge since 2005. Thomas would become the first out gay Black man appointed to the federal judiciary if confirmed.
Judge Thomas becomes President Obama's third nomination of an openly gay or lesbian federal jurist. Thomas would also become the second nation's second Black openly gay or lesbian federal judge, reports BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner.
"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."
Thomas was one of seven nominations announced yesterday to the federal courts. The nominees "represent my continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves," said the President in a statement.
"These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity. Too many of our courtrooms stand empty. I hope the Senate will promptly consider all of my nominees and ensure justice for everyday Americans."
Thomas has served as a federal public defender and a state prosecutor in Southern Florida. Thomas is being nominated "to fill the opening of U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan, who was confirmed as a federal appeals court judge earlier this year," reports Miami's CBS 4. There is no word yet when the Senate will would begin confirmation hearings.