President Barack Obama has nominated the nation’s first Black lesbian judge to the United States District Court.
Staci Michelle Yandle, if confirmed, will be the first and only gay judge in the seventh circuit which includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Yandle has been practicing law privately in southern Illinois since 2007.
She reportedly focuses on civil litigation in both the federal and state courts.
“I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “I am confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”
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.
HuffPost reached out to both of Yandle’s home state senators for comment on her nomination. A spokesman for Sen. Mark Kirk (R) did not respond, but Sen. Dick Durbin (D) said he plans to work with Kirk to get her confirmed.
“Staci Yandle is an excellent candidate for the federal bench in Southern Illinois,” Durbin said in a statement. “She will bring a wealth of knowledge and litigation experience to the position. I am pleased that President Obama has nominated her today. I will be working with Senator Kirk to see her nomination approved by the Senate.”
Kudos to President Obama for further pushing for diversity. We’re rooting for you, Staci!
[via Huffington Post]