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Obama Nominates Gay Black Judge to Federal Court

Judge William L. Thomas

Yesterday, President Barack Obama nominated his first openly gay African-American judicial nominee for the federal courts.

Judge William L. Thomas has been put forth for consideration for the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He’s one of seven judges nominated today and, if confirmed will be the second out African-American judge on the federal bench.

“These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system,” President Obama said in a statement. “They also represent my continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves.”

Judge William L. Thomas has served as a Circuit Judge in Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit since 2005, presiding over both civil and criminal matters. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Florida, representing underprivileged clients in criminal cases. He received his B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College in 1991 and his J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1994.

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