Press Release

Obama nominates gay man for U.S. appellate court

Thu, Feb 7th 2013, 13:12


Contact: Denis Dison (202) 567-3308,


Hughes Would Become First Openly LGBT U.S. Appeals Court Judge

Washington--Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute, today issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama's nomination of Todd M. Hughes for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit:

"If confirmed, Todd Hughes would become the first openly gay federal appeals court judge in U.S. history.  His nomination is a testament to the expanding opportunities for openly LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, and to the president's respect for the depth of talent and experience within the LGBT community.  We look forward to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate."

White House Brief on Todd M. Hughes

Todd M. Hughes is Deputy Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice, a position he has held since 2007.  He also has served as an adjunct lecturer in law with the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and as an instructor for Duke University’s writing program.

Hughes received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1989 and completed a joint degree program with Duke University, earning both his J.D. with honors and his M.A. in English in 1992.  After graduating from law school, Hughes clerked for the Honorable Robert B. Krupansky of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  In 1994, he joined the Commercial Litigation Branch as a trial attorney.  Five years later, he was appointed to be Assistant Director for Commercial Litigation, a role he held until assuming the title of Deputy Director in 2007.  Throughout his career with the Department of Justice, Hughes’s practice has been devoted to matters of federal personnel law, veterans’ benefits, international trade, government contracts, and jurisdictional issues regarding the United States Court of Federal Claims.  He has extensive experience before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of International Trade, and the United States Court of Federal Claims, and he has garnered a number of special commendations from the Department of Justice and a special contribution award from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Victory Institute

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute works to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by building, supporting, and advancing a diverse network of LGBT public leaders.  Through its training and professional development programs, the Victory Institute assists hundreds of individuals who go on to influential careers in politics, government, business and advocacy each year.  Many of the Victory Institute’s trainees join the more than 1,000 openly LGBT elected and appointed officials now serving around the world.  In 2008, the Victory Institute convened the Presidential Appointments Project to assist qualified LGBT Americans who seek to serve their country in the executive and judicial branches of government.  For more information on openly LGBT presidential appointees, visit

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