Posted on January 16, 2014

Obama to Nominate First Black Lesbian Judge in 20 Years

Edward-Isaac Dovere, Politico, January 16, 2014

President Barack Obama has already nominated more African-American judges and more LGBT judges than any previous president. On Thursday, he’ll announce the nomination of Staci Michelle Yandle, the first African-American lesbian federal judge he’s picked.

Yandle, who’s in private practice, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Southern District of his home state of Illinois. If confirmed, that would make her the first African-American judge ever on that court, and the first openly gay judge in the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.


There’s another first among the four new nominees Obama will announce Thursday: Salvador Mendoza, Jr., currently a county Superior Court judge in Washington state, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Eastern District of his state, where he would be the first Hispanic judge in that position.

Increasing diversity on the bench has been a legacy priority for Obama, and one that’s become an emphasis for the White House over the past year under Denis McDonough’s leadership as chief of staff. {snip}