In Florida, President Obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. In New York, he has nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And his pick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit? The first South Asian.
Reelected with strong support from women, ethnic minorities and gays, Obama is moving quickly to change the face of the federal judiciary by the end of his second term, setting the stage for another series of drawn-out confrontations with Republicans in Congress.
I predicted that Obama's first term would be fairly low key as this cautious man tried to win re-election by not scaring the white majority, but much would be different in the second term once he's safely home.
Of course, Obama isn't a big believer in diversity for his own staff -- where he wants the right man for the job -- just for the rest of us for the next several decades:
The diversity of Obama’s judicial nominees stands in contrast to staff selections at the start of his second term that have been dominated by white men, including White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.By contrast, 17 of the 35 pending judicial nominees are women, 15 are ethnic minorities and five are openly gay, according to White House statistics. Six are straight white men.