The Agenda

Schumer recommends first openly gay male federal judge

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has recommended Daniel Alter to serve as judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  If President Obama makes the nomination and it’s approved, Alter would become the first openly gay male to serve on the federal bench, reports the DC Agenda.

In a statement released by the senator’s office, Schumer called Alter, “a lawyer whose views have been tempered by a broad range of experiences” and “a candidate who would enhance the diversity of the federal bench.”

DC Agenda is carrying the story:

For judicial nominations, presidents traditionally abide by the recommendations made by the senior senator from the state where there’s a vacancy, which in the case of New York is Schumer.

In a statement, Schumer said he recommended Alter because he’s “a brilliant attorney who possesses the knowledge, balanced views and temperament required of a federal judge.”

“His outstanding leadership skills, his commitment to justice, and his extensive experience make him an exceptional choice for a position on the federal bench,” Schumer said. “I’m proud to nominate Daniel Alter. Period. But I am equally proud to nominate him because he is a history-maker who will be the first openly gay male judge in American history.”

A graduate of Columbia College and Yale Law School, Alter clerked for several judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

For six years, Alter was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he specialized in first amendment matters and became an expert on terrorism issues. He worked on al Qaeda cases and was on the prosecution team for the trials for the African embassy bombings of 1998.

Alter has also been an advocate for civil rights. As national director of the civil rights division of the Anti-Defamation League, Alter handled work on hate crimes both within the United States and abroad.