Senate Confirms CA's First Openly Gay Federal Judge
Los Angeles attorney Michael W. Fitzgerald is confirmed by a 91 to 6 vote in Washington
Michael W. Fitzgerald becomes the first openly gay federal judge from California (PHOTO: ERICA MARTIN / March 15, 2012)
The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted 91 to 6 to confirm L.A. attorney Michael W. Fitzgerald to a seat on the federal court for Central California. It makes him the first openly gay federal jurist in the state and one of just a few in the nation.
Fitzgerald, 52, was nominated by President Obama to the federal bench in July. "His impressive career stands as a testament to his formidable intellect and integrity," Obama said in a statement last summer. "I am confident he will serve the people of California with distinction on the District Court bench."
Fitzgerald thanked his advocates in the Senate following the confirmation.
"I am honored by the Senate's confirmation vote today," he said. "I am grateful to the President for my nomination. I am grateful to Senator Boxer for her recommendation of me to the President. I am grateful to Senator Feinstein for her support in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I look forward to serving the people of the Central District of California."
The gay community hailed Fitzgerald's confirmation as a milestone for sexual orientation diversity in the federal courts.