Obama Nominates Gay Man to Fed. Court
BY Ryan Holman
April 23 2010 1:35 PM ET
President Obama made the first nomination of an openly gay man to a federal judgeship earlier
this month. Edward DuMont has been nominated to the U.S. court of appeals for the federal district, the only appeals court with national jurisdiction, Keen News Service reports.
During questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, DuMont explained his involvement with and support of gay legal groups. He is a member of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Attorneys of Washington, a former member of the National LGBT Bar Association, and also a former member of Department of Justice Pride. His partner of 13 years is Newton Kendig, a doctor who worked with U.S. Public Health Services for federal prisons.
Despite his connections to countless civil rights, environmental, and health advocacy organizations and the Democratic Party, he has gained broad support. His nomination is expected to attract at least some Republican support due to his backing of President Bush's 2002 controversial appeals court nomination of Miguel Estrada as well as his work for Reagan appointee Richard Posner. In the early 1990s he supported a religious group's petition for the right to use public school facilities; the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 ruled unanimously for the religious group in Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District.
The American Bar Association has given DuPont its highest rating. Human Rights Campaign legislative counsel Ty Cobb describes him as "unbelievably well-qualified."
If confirmed by the Senate, he will be the third openly gay federal judge, after Deborah Batts and Emily Hewitt, both Clinton appointees, and the first openly gay man appointed at that level. He will also be the first openly gay judge of a federal appeals court.