Just over a year ago, we asked if openly gay federal judges were more than a dream. Back then, we reported that of the more than 1,300 federal judges, only one, Deborah Batts (appointed by President Clinton to the Southern District of New York in 1994), was openly gay.
Now, a year later, a recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll shows that 55 percent of Americans would support an openly gay Supreme Court justice, with 40 percent saying they are opposed. With Justice Stevens likely to retire in the near future, President Obama may have an opportunity to nominate someone to the nation’s highest court in the near future. Of those on the likely short list is Pam Karlan, an out lesbian and a Stanford Law professor.
Of his 57 nominations to the federal circuit and district courts, none of President Obama’s nominees for the federal bench has been openly gay. That may change soon, however, since Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has recommended Daniel Alter to serve on the