“We celebrate the confirmation of Judge Pitman, which brings welcome diversity to the federal bench in Texas while simultaneously filling a seat that has been vacant for more than six years.”
(New York, December 16, 2014) – The U.S. Senate tonight confirmed Robert Pitman to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Pitman becomes the first openly gay judge to sit on the federal bench in Texas, and also assumes a seat that had been vacant for more than six years. Lambda Legal Fair Courts Project Manager Eric Lesh released the following statement:
“For the judicial system in the United States to be truly fair, it must reflect the tremendous diversity of the country. President Obama has made great strides in promoting and ensuring that diversity with his nominations of people of color and of openly gay and lesbian individuals to the federal bench. We celebrate the confirmation of Judge Pitman, which brings welcome diversity to the federal bench in Texas while simultaneously filling a seat that had been vacant for more than six years.
“While great progress has been made to bring diversity to the courts, we still have a long way to go. There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are straight white men. Federal courts are charged with providing everyone with equal access to justice, and yet justice has not always been a reality for some. A judiciary diverse in race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and lived and professional experience serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts.”