On Monday, history was made when the Senate confirmed Judge Pamela Chen to become the first openly gay, Asian-American judge on the federal bench. Chen will serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. "There are now five openly gay judges on the federal bench," reports Think Progress. "Four of these five are Obama appointees, and the fifth, Clinton appointee Deborah Batts, recently took a kind of partial retirement for older judges."
The President has named eight openly gay or lesbian life-tenured federal court judicial nominees. These include Judge William Thomas and Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, who would become the first out Black man and Latina on the federal bench, respectively. "Thomas would be the second out LGBT black judge," adds Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner. "The first, Judge Deborah Batts, also was the first out LGBT federal judge."
The Washington Post profiled the Obama Administration's efforts to diversify the federal judiciary on Tuesday. "Of the 35 judicial nominees currently pending before the Senate, 17 of the 35 pending judicial nominees are women, 15 are ethnic minorities and five are openly gay." Only six are white straight men.
The White House released a very clever infographic yesterday that demonstrates how it has made the federal courts more reflective of our society. Click to enlarge.