Monday, July 29, 2013

Sen. Rubio (R-FL) Blocking Black Gay Federal Judicial Nominee

Here at we have been following the progress of President Obama's openly LGBT federal judicial nominees quite closely and were thrilled when the first African American gay male, Judge Wiliam Thomas, was nominated to be a federal district court judge in November 2012.

However recent blog reports have noted that Thomas has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, in fact a hearing has not even been scheduled on his nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The invaluable Washington Blade reports:

Rubio’s office didn’t respond to repeated requests from the Blade over the past two weeks to comment on why he continues to hold up the Thomas nomination. According to a report last week in the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio has concerns about Thomas’s involvement in a controversial case in which a man was given a sentence of just 364 days in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist.


Thomas has experience both as a defense attorney and as a judge. He’s been a circuit judge in Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit since 2005, where he has presided over both civil and criminal matters. Before that, he was an assistant federal public defender in the Southern District of Florida and represented indigent clients in federal criminal cases.
Rubio faced criticism last week from members of the Congressional Black Caucus for holding up both the Thomas confirmation and that of Brian Davis, another black judicial nominee who was nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for Middle District of Florida. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund also called for the Thomas nomination to move forward.
Rubio continues to hold up the Thomas nomination even though he and [U.S. Senator Bill] Nelson recommended Thomas for the seat following approval from Florida’s Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, which makes recommendations to the state’s senators.
LGBT groups have begun to put more pressure on Rubio to explain the reason for his hold on the Thomas nomination. Let's hope that join with African American groups to call for Rubio's holds to be lifted on both Judge Thomas and Judge Davis in the near future.

Hat/tip to TowleRoad

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