Miami-Dade Judge William Thomas almost made history as the first openly gay, black, male federal judge when President Obama nominated him for a position on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District. His appointment, however, was derailed by Sen. Marco Rubio. Officially Rubio, who had recommend Thomas in the first place, had concerns about his "temperament," but others accused Rubio of playing politics.
Well, Obama has now nominated a replacement, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Darrin Gayles. He also happens to be an openly gay black man.
Gayles started his career as Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Date State Attorney's Office in 1993. Then in 1997, he moved on as Assistant District Counsel at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in 1999.
In 2004 he became a Miami-Dade County judge before being appointed as a circuit judge for the 11th circuit in 2011 by Charlie Crist.
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The White House announced the nomination yesterday.
Typically federal judges need the approval of both of a state's senators in order for their appointment to be voted on. Rubio had blocked Thomas, but apparently will not do the same with Gayles.
"I do not anticipate having an objection to moving forward on any of these nominations pending the outcome of the customary background check conducted on every nominee," Rubio told NPR.