This afternoon, the Senate unanimously confirmed Todd Hughes to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Like all of the President’s judicial nominees, Hughes has the intellect, experience, integrity, and temperament to be a successful judge. He is also gay.
The United States Courts of Appeals are the second-highest courts in the nation – a level just below the Supreme Court – and there has never been an openly gay judge to serve on a Court of Appeals until now. Hughes’s historic confirmation is yet another “first” among President Obama’s federal judges. Many of the President’s circuit judges have broken new diversity barriers – including three Hispanic, two Asian American, and one African American -- who are “firsts” in their respective courts.
The President is confident that these men and women will serve with honor, distinction, and fidelity to the rule of law on the federal bench. And, at the same time, the judiciary will better reflect the nation it serves, instilling even greater public confidence in our justice system. We look forward to the “seconds” and “thirds” who will come after Todd Hughes and his fellow “firsts” currently serving on our courts.
Kathryn Ruemmler is Assistant to the President and Counsel to the President