Deborah Batts was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994 to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, becoming the first out LGBTQ federal court judge when she was confirmed. It would not be until 2011 that another out LGBTQ person would become a federal judge. Batts served on the court for more than 25 years – presiding over many high-profile cases – until her passing in 2020. Many LGBTQ judges cite Batts as the person who gave them hope they could serve openly on the bench.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (1994 – 2020)