On Wednesday, President Obama nominated seven judges, including a black homosexual, to the federal judiciary, saying their appointments “ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves.”
Obama appointed Judge William Thomas to the Southern District of Florida. Thomas has served on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit since 2005.
“Today’s announcement…reflects the president’s historic commitment to advancing a diverse judiciary that looks like America,” said Nancy Zirkin of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “If confirmed, these nominees would bring more women, minorities, and openly gay judges to courts to better reflect the nation they serve.”
According to Buzzfeed, “Obama has now nominated seven [homosexual] lawyers for lifetime-tenured federal judgeships, three of whom already have been approved by the Senate. Judges J. Paul Oetken and Alison Nathan both now sit on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which is in Manhattan. Judge Michael Fitzgerald sits on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.”
According to a Gallup survey released in October, homosexuals make up 3.4 percent of all American adults. Black Americans were the most likely to consider themselves homosexual. Some 4.6 percent of blacks label themselves homosexual, bisexual, or transgender, as compared to 4.3 percent of Asians, 4 percent of Hispanics, and 3.2 percent of whites.
The first black homosexual Judge Deborah Batts was appointed to the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton.
Judge Thomas would appear to be the model Obama voter. According to exit polls, 93 percent of black voters and more than 90 percent of homosexuals voted for Obama in 2012.
One issue that could come up in confirmation hearings is Thomas’ record presiding over a recent trial of a vicious kidnapping, gang rape, and murder, that left the victim’s mother outraged.
In September, Thomas granted a mistrial to Joel Lebron, who police say confessed to gang-raping 18-year-old Ana Maria Angel at gunpoint with four other men in April 2002, then executing her as she begged for her life along Interstate 95 in Boca Raton.
Lebron’s DNA was found inside Angel.
Thomas called the mistrial after a detective testifying in the case mentioned that one of the other men involved had already been convicted – something jurors are not supposed to know. Prosecutors argued that calling the mistrial was unnecessary.
Thomas previously threw out the confessions of Lebron and another of the assailants, 16-year-old Jesus Ramon, saying police did not read them their Miranda rights. That prompted Angel’s mother, Margarita Osorio, to speak out, saying she didn’t have confidence in Thomas as a judge.
Lebron was convicted in a subsequent trial.
Last March, Thomas ruled that a female police officer violated the civil rights of a young black man whom she shot as he fled from the scene.
The president says he hopes Congress will take up the nominations “promptly.”
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