The US’s First Openly Gay Federal Judge Died At 72

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May she rest in peace.

In 1994, Deborah Batts, a Harvard Law School graduate, was nominated to the federal bench by Bill Clinton. This made her the first openly gay judge on the Federal Bench. Now, it appears that she passed away in her sleep on the night of February 2. She was 72. That said, the official cause of her death has not yet been determined.

“Deborah Batts was a trailblazer in every respect: an openly gay African-American woman who became a United States District Judge after a distinguished career as a federal prosecutor and law professor,” Manhattan federal Chief Judge Colleen McMahon said in a statement. “She will be remembered by her colleagues for her devotion to the work of the court, for her mentorship of a cadre of young lawyers of all backgrounds, and for her infectious smile and extraordinary collegiality.”

“Our hearts are broken at her premature passing,” said McMahon.

Batt’s historic appointing isn’t the only news people are bringing up along with her death. The judge was set to oversee the embezzlement trial between Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels. Avenatti has been accused of pocketing money meant for his client Daniels, an adult performer whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. While the trial was scheduled for April 21, Batts’ unexpected death will probably delay the trial. Meanwhile, Avenatti can focus on his other extortion trial in which he’s being accused of extorting Nike out of more than $20 million.

Source: New York Post

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