Since taking office, President Obama has quadrupled the number of openly gay judges holding lifetime appointments to the federal bench, although this fact has as much to do with the poor record of past presidents in naming gay judges as it does with President Obama’s commitment to diversity. Before Obama took office, only one openly gay judge — Clinton appointee Deborah Batts — was an Article III federal judge.
Yesterday, Obama announced his fifth openly gay nominee to the federal bench, federal prosecutor Pamela Ki Mai Chen, who will join the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York if confirmed. Chen spent much of her career in civil rights enforcement, and is currently the Chief of the Civil Rights Section and Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section at a U.S Attorney’s office in New York.
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