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)