The U.S. Senate on June 17 confirmed three federal judges nominated by President Barack Obama. The White House, in a statement released hours later, said each judge will be a “trailblazer on their courts.”
• Judge Darrin Gayles, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed as a lifetime-appointed federal judge.
• Judge Salvador Mendoza, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, is the first Hispanic judge to serve on that court.
• Staci Yandle, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is the first African American to serve on that court and the first openly gay lifetime-appointed federal judge in Illinois.
The White House noted that for the first time in U.S. history, the Senate has confirmed two openly gay judges on the same day.
With the Senate actions, Obama has now appointed more female judges than any other president, breaking the record previously set by President Bill Clinton.
And Obama also has now appointed more Hispanic judges than any other president, breaking the record previously held by President George W. Bush.
Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute managing director Torey Carter said, “I congratulate Judge Gayles and Stacie Yandle on this magnificent accomplishment — Gayles will be the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed and appointed to the federal bench in our nation’s history and Yandle will be the first openly gay African American to serve as a federal judge in Illinois.”