The Senate on Sept. 24 unanimously confirmed Todd Hughes to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit.
A statement from the White House said, “Like all of the president’s judicial nominees, Hughes has the intellect, experience, integrity, and temperament to be a successful judge. He is also gay.”
The court is the second highest in the nation, a level below the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hughes is the first openly gay judge to serve on the appeals court.
“Hughes’s historic confirmation is yet another ‘first’ among President Obama’s federal judges,” said Kathryn Ruemmler, counsel to the president. “Many of the president’s circuit judges have broken new diversity barriers – including three Hispanic, two Asian American, and one African American – who are ‘firsts’ in their respective courts.”
Ruemmler said the president is confident Hughes will serve with honor and fidelity to the rule of law and, at the same, time, “the judiciary will better reflect the nation it serves, instilling even greater public confidence in our justice system.”
She added, We look forward to the ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’ who will come after Todd Hughes and his fellow ‘firsts’ currently serving on our courts.”
At the Human Rights Campaign, president Chad Griffin said, "Judge Hughes is a remarkably qualified jurist who has served his country tirelessly, and today that commitment to service made history. As an openly gay man takes to the federal appellate court bench for the very first time, barriers to achievement for the next generation of LGBT young people are crumbling every day."
Hughes served at the U.S. Justice Department for about 30 years and has expertize in government pay and personnel law, whistleblower claims, international trade litigation and veterans’ benefits claims. He has argued more than 50 cases before the federal circuit.
Hughes is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and served as a law clerk to Robert B. Krupansky on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.