Washington, D.C. – President Obama is not giving up on appointing the first black, openly gay federal judge to a Florida seat.

On Feb. 5, the White House announced four judicial nominations for federal courts in Florida, including the nomination of Judge Darrin P. Gayles for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
“We commend the Administration for nominating a qualified jurist who will also add diversity to the federal bench,” said Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute Press Secretary Steven Thai in a statement to the media. “If confirmed, Judge Gayles will be the nation’s first black, openly gay federal judge, and he will reflect the talent and commitment that exists in communities that are underrepresented in public service.”

Previously, President Obama attempted to appoint Judge William Thomas, an openly gay black man, to a federal bench in South Florida. Sen. Marco Rubio blocked the appointment, despite the fact that he supported Thomas’ initial nomination in November of 2012. Nominees must secure the approval of both U.S. senators in their home state, and Sen. Bill Nelson offered his approval, but Rubio refused.

Other nominees included in this current round, along with Judge Gayles, include Paul G. Byron and Judge Carlos Eduardo Mendoza, nominees for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and Judge Beth Bloom, another nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Since 2011, Gayles has been a Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. Previous to that, he’s been an assistant state attorney, an assistant United States attorney and a county judge. Gayles earned his J.D. in 1993 from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. in 1990 from Howard University.

From our media partner Watermark