First Openly Gay Federal Judge Dies in New York
Deborah A. Batts, the nation's first openly gay federal judge, has died. She was 72. Batts died on Monday, three months before she was set to preside over a trial of California lawyer Michael Avenatti. Chief Judge Colleen McMahon in a statement called Batts 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. McMahon said it will be difficult to replace Batts, especially after he devotion to a program that let offenders earn reductions in their period of supervised release by participating in a rehabilitative program under judicial supervision.