Commend U.S. Senate For Confirming Openly Gay Federal Appeals Court Judge


Target: U.S. Senate

Goal: Applaud the U.S. Senate for its unanimous, landmark vote that confirmed first openly gay judge to a federal appeals court

The U.S. Senate recently voted 98-0 to confirm Todd Hughes, an openly gay judge, to a federal appeals court that represents the last level of appeals prior to the U.S Supreme Court. This landmark vote occurred amidst a debate focused on the upcoming possible government shutdown as well as on the tight budget the courts have been dealing with. The appointment of Hughes is the most recent example of President Barack Obama’s efforts to make the federal judicial system more diverse.

Hughes is well-qualified and has the experience and intellect to be a successful judge at such a high level. He graduated from Duke Law School and has been a lawyer at the Department of Justice for a very long time. He recently served as the deputy director of the Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch.

President Obama has greatly diversified the federal bench during his tenure as president. He has appointed many other openly gay judges to federal trial courts and almost tripled the amount of African American federal judges. Furthermore, he nominated four Asian American judges who now work for federal appeals courts. While he has succeeded thus far, Obama has faced much obstruction and resistance to his efforts for diversification. Republicans have continued to obstruct President Obama in his judicial nominees, especially if they belong to a minority group. Studies have shown that the judicial nominees who faced Republican opposition were all minority men and women.  Obama’s first effort to nominate an openly gay man failed because of eighteen months of Senate obstruction which forced the nominee to withdraw his nomination.

Obama’s dedication to diversifying the federal bench has garnered another victory in Hughes’ appointment. Please sign this petition to commend the Senate for unanimously voting to confirm the first openly gay appeals judge.


Dear U.S. Senate,

We commend your decision to unanimously confirm in a landmark vote the appointment of the first openly gay federal appeals judge in a court that is one level under the U.S. Supreme Court. This appointment serves as another example of President Barack Obama’s efforts to diversify the federal courts.

President Obama has greatly diversified the federal bench by appointing many African American and Asian- American judges to federal courts. Your landmark, unanimous vote must be commended in making the legal system more representative of the diverse people who inhabit the United States.


[Your Name here]

Photo credit: kawwsu29 via Flickr

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44 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • James Thrailkill
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Mal Gaff
  • Holly Hall
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Melanie waleski
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