President Barack Obama is slated to appoint his first-ever African-American openly LGBT federal judge on Thursday, once again showing his commitment to diversifying the judicial system, Politico reports.
Staci Michelle Yandle, who is currently practicing privately, is the woman President Obama wants to place in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the president’s home state. If Yandle is confirmed, she will be the first African-American judge to sit in the court, and also the first “out” judge in the 7th Circuit, covering Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
But Obama won’t be done there. He’s also nominating the first Latino judge—Salvador Mendoza Jr., a county Superior Court judge in Washington state—for the Eastern District of Illinois.
Politico points out that diversity on the bench is a top priority for the nation’s first African-American president, and his picks are expected to be easily confirmed in Congress, since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed the filibuster rules to require only a simple majority.
Other nominations were Stephen Bough, to sit in the Western District of Missouri, and Richard Franklin Boulware II for Nevada. Boulware would not be the first African American to sit in Nevada, but Politico notes he will be the 57th African American Obama has nominated.
Read more at Politico.