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Senate Advances Lesbian Trump Judicial Nominee, Despite Several GOP ‘NO’ Votes

Today, on a 16- 5 voice vote, Jude Mary M. Rowland of Illinois was advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee to serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Rowland is an out lesbian and a member of the Gay and Lesbian Bar Association.

She is the only LGBT federal judicial nominee under Trump. In fact, according to Lambda Legal, nearly one-third of him judicial nominees have anti-LGBT records.

Senators John Cornyn, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Ben Sasse, Mike Crapo voted against her nomination.

This is outrageous. Those who are nominated to serve on the federal bench deserve an assessment of their qualifications, including their experience, integrity, and commitment to the rule of law. Senators refusing to support a qualified candidate based on her sexual orientation, or any other factor related to identity, injects a destructive bias into the judicial branch of government, which is charged with administering justice to all Americans.

Under President Obama, the number of openly gay and lesbian federal judges went from one to eleven.

Mary Rowland has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2012. Prior to her selection as a Federal magistrate judge, Judge Rowland spent twelve years as a partner in the Chicago firm of Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym, Ltd. Before entering private practice, Judge Rowland served for ten years in the Chicago office of the Federal Defender; first as a staff attorney and later as the office’s chief appellate attorney. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Rowland served as a law clerk to Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Judge Rowland earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Judge Rowland is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Bar Association.

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