Yesterday, the Puerto Rico Senate confirmed attorney Maite Oronoz Rodríguez as an Associate Justice to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, marking the first time that an openly lesbian judicial nominee is confirmed to the Commonwealth’s highest court.
Yesterday, the United States Senate voted to confirm two openly gay African-American judges to the federal bench - Staci Yandle for the Southern District of Illinois and Darrin Gayles for the Southern District of Florida.
Today, the U.S. Senate made judicial history by confirming Darrin Gayles to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and Staci Yandle to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, marking the first time that two openly gay judicial nominees have been confirmed to the federal bench on the same day.
Immediately after U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas’ discriminatory ban denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry, Texas Governor Rick Perry attacked the ruling in the statement released by his office.
In a brazen and unprecedented political move, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court — who was reelected a year ago after being removed from the bench in 2003 for defying a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom — inserted himself into the fight for the freedom to marry.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today overturned a lower court ruling because the trial judge erred in allowing one litigant to use a peremptory challenge (a challenge to a juror not based on demonstrated cause) to remove a juror because of the juror’s sexual orientation.
In 2013, it became crystal clear just how critical our courts are in the fight to secure legal equality for LGBT people and those with HIV. Unfortunately, when courts rule on important civil rights issues, they often come under attack from individuals and groups — going beyond criticizing outcomes and legal arguments — seeking to intimidate judges and undermine the function of the court system.
President Obama has nominated three women to the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit, which is often referred to as the second-most important court in the country. All three have been filibustered by Republicans in the Senate.