President Barack Obama on Thursday
nominated an openly gay African-American judge to serve on the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Staci Michelle Yandle's nomination was
one of four announced by the White House.
“I am pleased to nominate these
distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District
Court bench,” Obama said in a statement. “I am confident they
will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast
commitment to justice.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, Yandle's
confirmation would not only make her the first openly gay judge in
the Seventh Circuit but also the first African-American judge to
serve in the Southern District of Illinois.
HRC added that Obama has nominated more
African-American and LGBT judges than any previous administration.
According to the White House, Yandle
received her J.D. in 1987 from the Vanderbilt University School of
Law and her B.S. in 1983 from the University of Illinois. She served
by appointment on the Illinois Gaming Board from 1999 to 2001 and on
the Illinois Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on
Civil Rights from 1992 to 1996.