October 14, 2011
US Senate narrowly confirms lesbian judge
The United States Senate has confirmed out lesbian Alison Nathan as a federal judge in New York’s Southern District. A Republican backlash threatened the appointment just hours before it was due to take place.
Senators voted 48-44 in favour of Nathan’s confirmation. The vote took place along party lines, with Republicans attacking the candidate’s liberal “bias” and alleged lack of experience.
Right-wing activist group Concerned Women of America wrote to Senators shortly before the confirmation vote. “She served as a member of the LGBT issues policy committee during the 2008 Obama campaign,” read a letter seen by The Advocate.
“In addition, Nathan has provided pro-bono representation for the ACLU, Lambda Legal, Service Members Legal Defense Network, and individual service members in challenges to the so-called ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”
“Her biases are so ingrained and so much the main thrust of her career that it not rational [sic] to believe that she will suddenly change once confirmed as a judge. Rather it is reasonable to conclude she would use her position to implement her own political ideology.”
Nathan was also criticised by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. They accused her of prioritising “foreign law” in her interpretation of the US constitution, and argued that she lacked “courtroom experience”.
The eventual confirmation was greeted warmly by the White House. “The President welcomes the confirmation of Alison Nathan,” said spokesperson Shin Inouye. “She will serve the American people well from the District Court bench.”
Nathan is the second openly gay judge to have been appointed by President Barack Obama. A further two gay nominees are awaiting confirmation.
ASL Gotye “Somebody I Used to Know” (HiDef)
This video is an ASL interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know.” An expression of ASL music composed by a team of Deaf and CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) members, including the crew and cast members.
July 28, 2012