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Task Force applauds Senate confirmations

December 12, 2013

The Task Force applauds the recent confirmations by the U.S. Senate of Chai Feldblum as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Rep. Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Cornelia Pillard to serve as judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“We are extremely pleased with these recent Senate confirmations,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Each of these individuals will play a critical role in the execution of democracy and justice for our nation. We thank the Obama Administration for putting forward these eminently qualified individuals and the Senate leadership for leading the confirmation process to completion.”

Chai Feldblum was reappointed to a second term on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She is the first openly lesbian Commissioner of the EEOC and over the span of her career has made historic contributions to the advancement of equality and justice in the LGBT and the disability rights movements, particularly her leadership role in drafting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and ADA Amendments Act of 2008. More recently Commissioner Feldblum led the pivotal Macy v Holder decision that the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect transgender people.

Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) has been confirmed to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the federal agency that oversees the housing mortgage industry. Congressman Watt has served in congress for over 20 years and is a champion of responsible lending and affordable homeownership for working people.

Cornelia “Nina” Pillard was confirmed to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Professor Pillard argued important cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including U.S.  v. Virginia, where she successfully argued that Virginia Military Institute’s men-only admissions policy violated Equal Protection, and Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, which upheld the right of a man to take unpaid leave to care for his sick wife under the FMLA.

“We are pleased that nominees are moving more swiftly through the Senate confirmation process and eagerly await the Senate’s action on remaining judicial and executive nominees. Our nation’s overburdened court system needs these judges to take their seats on the bench and federal agencies need leadership at the helm to direct them in the execution of responsible policymaking and enforcement,” urged Carey.

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