Senate Confirms First Openly Gay Federal Appeals Court Judge

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to confirm Todd Hughes to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, making Hughes the first openly gay judge on the federal circuit bench.

Hughes was formerly the deputy director of the Justice Department’s commercial litigation office.

“This vote marks an important milestone,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patric Leahy (D-VT), whose committee oversaw Hughes’s nomination, said in a statement. “I am proud that today the Senate is finally taking this critical step to break down another barrier and increase diversity on our Federal bench.” 

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