BY JAY WEAVER
President Barack Obama, who has sparred with Republican lawmakers over his judicial appointments, said Wednesday he will nominate two Miami-Dade Circuit Court judges for two vacancies on the federal bench in South Florida.
The two nominees are Judges Beth Bloom and Darrin P. Gayles.
Bloom has served on the state circuit court since 2010 and previously on the county court, starting in 1995. The University of Miami School of Law graduate was chosen from among four finalists for the federal judicial opening in the Southern District of Florida.
Gayles has served on the circuit court since 2011 and before on the county court, beginning in 2004. Gayles, who graduated from George Washington University School of Law, was also among the same four finalists for the second vacancy on the federal bench in South Florida.
“Throughout their careers, these distinguished men and women have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service,” Obama said in a statement, referring to these two appointments and two other nominees in the Middle District of Florida. “I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the district court bench.”
White House officials note that Gayles, if confirmed, would be the first openly gay male African-American federal judge — a distinction that previously generated political opposition to the president’s nomination of another Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge.