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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations to Alison Nathan
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 10/13/11
Last updated on: 10/13/11
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On October 13, 2011, on a vote of 48 to 44, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Alison Nathan to serve as a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York. When she is sworn in, Nathan will become the second openly lesbian judge on the federal bench.

Nathan is the second of four openly gay or lesbian nominees sent by President Obama to the Senate for confirmation to win approval. In July, the Senate confirmed the nomination of J. Paul Ontken, also to the Southern District of New York. Awaiting confirmation are Michael Fitzpatrick and Edward DuMont.

Nathan was opposed by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who described her as an "activist judge." She was defended by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who had recommended her appointment to President Obama.

Joe Solomonese of the Human Rights Campaign hailed Nathan's confirmation, saying that "Ms. Nathan's demonstrated intellect and dedication to public service is a model of achievement. She will join Judges Deborah Batts and Paul Oetken in the Southern District of New York as the only openly lesbian or gay federal judges. We look forward to the day when the makeup of the entire federal bench truly represents the diverse American public."

Nathan, who is a counselor to the New York State Solicitor General, served as a special assistant to President Obama and clerked for retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. She and her partner, law professor Meg Satterthwaite, are parents of twin sons.

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