President Barack Obama has already nominated more African-American judges and more LGBT judges than any previous president. On Thursday, he’ll announce the nomination of Staci Michelle Yandle, the first African-American lesbian federal judge he’s picked.
Yandle, who’s in private practice, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Southern District of his home state of Illinois. If confirmed, that would make her the first African-American judge ever on that court, and the first openly gay judge in the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
There has never been an African-American male gay judge, but Yandle follows Deborah Batts, an African-American lesbian whom President Bill Clinton nominated to the Southern District of New York.
There’s another first among the four new nominees Obama will announce Thursday: Salvador Mendoza, Jr., currently a county Superior Court judge in Washington state, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Eastern District of his state, where he would be the first Hispanic judge in that position.
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