Out Lesbian Judicial Nominee Set for Senate Vote in Coming Weeks

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 27, 2011 7:41 PM |

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[Photo: President Barack Obama greets departing Associate Counsel to the President Alison J. "Ali" Nathan, left, Meg Satterthwaite, and their twin sons Oliver and Nathan, in the Outer Oval Office on July 7, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)]

Earlier today, the Blog of Legal Times noted that Alison Nathan, the former White House associate counsel nominated for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, is among the 10 judicial nominees who Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced would be coming for a vote in the coming weeks.

Nathan, an out lesbian raising children with her partner, had her nomination favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee to the full Senate for consideration in July.

According to Reid's description of the agreement printed in the Congressional Record, Nathan's nomination will come to a vote in the second group of nominations included in the agreement "at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader [Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)], not prior to October 11, 2011."

Of Obama's other out LGBT judicial nominees, Edward DuMont -- a D.C. attorney -- has not seen his nomination proceed. Originally nominated by Obama in April 2010 to be an appellate judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, his nomination languished in the 111th Congress -- despite an American Bar Association rating of "unanimously well qualified" and a clerkship for Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. At the end of the session, his nomination was returned to the president, who renominated DuMont on Jan. 5 in the 112th Congress. The Judiciary Committee has not scheduled a hearing for DuMont.

Michael Fitzgerald, an out gay California attorney, was nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in August and has received an ABA rating of "unanimously well qualified." No hearing has been scheduled on his nomination.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken, an out gay attorney practicing in New York City, was nominated by Obama for the Southern District of New York, a nomination approved by the Senate in July.

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