The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed
the nomination of Chai Feldblum as a commissioner to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Federal Times
Feldblum was among the 15
administration nominees appointed in March by President Barack Obama
in his first recess appointments since taking office. But a Senate
vote was still needed to make her appointment permanent through 2013.
A key Senate committee voted in favor
of Feldblum's nomination in December 2009, four months after being
nominated by Obama, but Republicans had since blocked a full Senate
vote on her confirmation.
Feldblum, a former professor at
Georgetown University's Law Center, is considered a national scholar
on transgender rights, disability issues and the gay rights movement.
Social conservatives had decried her
recess appointment, labeling Feldblum a “radical” for, most
notably, her work on the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA), a bill which would ban employment discrimination based on
sexual orientation and gender identity. Feldblum would “ruthlessly
enforce” ENDA, the socially conservative Traditional Values
Coalition said in objecting to her nomination. Gay rights bills,
such as ENDA, are not expected to win passage in the next Congress.
Feldblum is the first openly gay EEOC