Why is Marco Rubio Blocking The First Black Gay Male Federal Judge?

judge-william-thomasJudge William Thomas was first named in November by President Obama for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, but as of today his confirmation was being held up by only one vote — that of Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

According to the Washington Blade, Rubio hasn’t yet responded to repeated requests as to the reason behind the delay, which is stopping Thomas from becoming the first black gay male judge appointed to the federal bench (the first openly gay black person appointed was out lesbian Judge Deborah Batts, appointed by President Clinton in 1994).

A recently published report in the Tampa Bay Times indicates some concerns that Rubio may have with Judge Thomas, ranging from his ruling on a complicated and controversial hit and run case to questions about some statements on race that he may have made in the past.

Judge Thomas sentenced the driver in the hit and run death of a cyclist to just 364 days amid health concerns about a blood disease that would put the offender at risk of death during an extended jail sentence. Most of the time ended up being served locally.

Then, there is the racial angle of the delay. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio now claims that he shares the concerns of Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who questioned statements that Judge Thomas made in the 1990’s which inferred that Joycelyn Elders was forced to resign as U.S. Surgeon General because she’s black.

Thomas has since acknowledged that the comments were inappropriate for a Judge, even though they were made in the context of a speech about race.

While there is no real indication that sexual orientation is a cause of the holdup, LGBT organizations have thrown their support behind Judge Thomas. Sharon Lettman-Hicks, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, a black oriented LGBT organization, has gone on record as saying she’s “disgusted” by the situation.

Human Rights Campaign VP of communications Fred Sainz echoes her sentiments: “There’s no good reason why justice should be further delayed when Judge Thomas is ready, willing and able to serve.”

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  • Scribe38

    How about the truth? Rubio is a player in the GOP, that attempts to block everyone of Obama’s choices to the bench. Add the fact that the guy is black and gay just gives him more reason. Elders was trying to be a responsible public health teacher. She basically said no one had ever gotten pregnant or HIV from mutual j/o and the GOP went nuts. Her advice was very responsible specially for gay teens. She also supported condoms and only having one sex partner. The all the same advice I give my gay nephew.

  • CaptainFabulous

    “Why is Marco Rubio Blocking The First Black Gay Male Federal Judge?”

    Did ya miss the ‘Gay’ and ‘Black’ in that question? As if anyone in the GOP needs another reason? Rubio may be Latino, but he’s clearly proven he’s an Uncle Tom, and doesn’t give a shit about any minorities, including his own.

  • 2eo

    @CaptainFabulous: There is a massive element of using Rubio in a hilarious game of “LOOK HOW NOT [email protected] WE ARE, THIS GUY IS OFF WHITE AND WE HAVE HIM”.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Yeah, but where’s the evidence or indication that the delay is motivated by race or sexuality? Methinks this may just be more perceived injustice from the professional victims.

  • that_dude247

    Too late for Rubio. He is garbage to the conservative base.

  • tjr101

    Marco the token latino of the GOP. The fact that Marco thinks he will be fully accepted by the rabid bigots that is the GOP base is laughable. The fact that the GOP thinks Marco will attract the latino vote even more laughable.

  • Kangol

    @BJ McFrisky:

    “Professional victims”: ra•cist much?

    It’s clear why Rubio is doing this. The judge was also correct about Dr. Joycelyn Elders, whose comments about masturbation drove the right-wing into a state of hysteria, although they were hardly controversial, and even the nuttiest ultraconservative masturbates, whether she or he lies about doing so.

    Rubio’s games are tiresome, but then so is the contemporary professional victim GOP.

  • GordonSoleil

    Same reason the House GOP’s held up all the other nominations President Obama’s made, refuse to fund desperately needed repairs to America’s infrastructure, have made games of Debt Ceiling Chicken an annual thing, and voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act THIRTY-NINE BILGE-GARGLING TIMES, WHAT THE FUCK: they hate the President, they hate the idea of a functional government, and are willing to run the US into the ground rather than compromise on anything.

  • gppm1103

    Rubio should go to Cuba where he belongs. He is not any sort of American.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Again: Where’s the evidence? It’s all conjecture and cherry-picking politics.

Comments are closed.