LGBT Article III Judges

Article III of the Constitution created the U.S. Supreme Court and gave Congress the power to create the federal courts of appeals and district courts. Since 1789, more than 3,427 judges have served on Article III courts. Currently, there are 11 openly LGBT judges.

Court of Appeals

The 94 U.S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a United States Court of Appeals. This court hears appeals from the district courts located within its circuit and appeals from decisions of federal administrative agencies. In addition, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals in specialized cases, such as those involving patent laws and cases decided by the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims.

Judge Court Commission Status Gender
Todd Michael Hughes Federal Circuit 9/24/2013 Active Male

District Courts

The United States District Courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the District Courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters.

There are 94 federal district courts, including at least one district court in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three territories of the United States—the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands—have District Courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases.

Judge Court Commission Status Gender
Michael Walter Fitzgerald California (CD) 3/15/2012 Active Male
Vaughn R. Walker California (ND) 11/27/1989 Retired
Darrin Phillip Gayles Florida (SD) 6/19/2014 Active Male
Staci Michelle Yandle Illinois (SD) 6/19/2014 Active Female
Judith Ellen Levy Michigan (ED) 3/14/2014 Active Female
Pamela K. Chen New York (ED) 3/5/2013 Active Female
Alison Julie Nathan New York (SD) 10/17/2011 Active Female
Deborah Batts New York (SD) 5/9/1994 Senior Status
James Paul Oetken New York (SD) 7/20/2011 Active Male
Michael Jerome McShane Oregon 5/30/2013 Active Male
Nitza I. Alejandro Pennsylvania (ED) 6/19/2013 Active Female


CD - Central District ED - Eastern District MD - Middle District ND - Northern District SD - Southern District
WD - Western District *** Current Chief Judge

Data is based on information collected through July 31, 2015. To learn more about the federal court system go to


Partnership with JTB-APO

Just the Beginning - A Pipeline Organization logo

MCCA, in partnership with Just the Beginning - A Pipeline Organization, tracks and annually publishes the Report on the Integration of the Federal Judiciary.

Judge Vaughn Richard Walker

Judge Vaughn R. Walker

In 1989, Vaughn R. Walker was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to the federal district court for the Northern District of California. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 21, 1989, on unanimous consent and received his commission on November 27, 1989.

Active Article III Judges

Click below to view a complete list of Article III judges based on race, ethnicity or find out which president appointed them.


& Pacific Islander

Native American
Native American
Article III Judges by President
United States

United States Circuit Courts

First Circuit Seventh Circuit
Second Circuit Eighth Circuit
Third Circuit Ninth Circuit
Fourth Circuit Tenth Circuit
Fifth Circuit Eleventh Circuit
Sixth Circuit Fed/DC Circuit


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