The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed
the nomination of Michael Fitzgerald to a seat on the federal court
for Central California, gay weekly The
Washington Blade reported.
Senators approved Fitzgerald, a
52-year-old Los Angeles lawyer, with a 91 to 6 vote.
President Barack Obama nominated
Fitzgerald eight months ago, but partisan politics in the upper house
blocked his confirmation from coming to a vote.
California Senator Barbara Boxer, who
recommended Fitzgerald for the post, called him “highly-qualified”
on the Senate floor.
“He is an historic choice, and a vote
of Mr. Fitzgerald's nomination is long overdue, because he was voted
out of the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously 133 days ago, on
November 3, 2011,” she said. “It really shouldn't take this long
to confirm such a highly-qualified nominee like Mr. Fitzgerald,
especially because his seat has been designated a judicial
“I am honored by the Senate's
confirmation vote today,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “I am
grateful to the president for my nomination. I am grateful to
Senator Boxer for her recommendation of me to the president. I am
grateful to Senator [Barbara] Feinstein for her support in the Senate
Judiciary Committee. I look forward to serving the people of the
Central District of California.”
The White House has elevated two
additional out federal judges: Paul
Oetken and Alison
Nathan. A third choice, Edmund
DuMont, asked to have his name withdrawn.