February 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Gay judicial nominees face confirmation hearing Wednesday
United States Capitol Building, dome, gay news, Washington Blade

Two openly gay judicial nominees face confirmation hearings before the Senate on Wednesday (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two of the openly gay judicial nominees whom President Obama nominated to the federal bench are set to face their confirmation hearing before the Senate on Wednesday.

The nominees — Michael McShane, nominated as U.S. District Judge for the District of Oregon; and Nitza Quinones Alejandro, nominated as U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania — are slated to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a panel of five total nominees.

The hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday at 3:15 pm in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

It will follow another hearing earlier in the day set for 9:30 am on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano are set to testify as well as Jose Antonio Vargas, an openly gay Filipino undocumented immigrant and award-winning journalist.

The two nominees are among five pending openly gay appointments that Obama has named to the federal bench. Others are Pamela Chen, nominated as U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, and William Thomas, nominated as U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

Just last week, Obama nominated Todd Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court. If confirmed, he’d be the first openly gay person to sit on a federal appeals court.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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