Elaine Kaplan, an out lesbian, was voted by the Senate, 64-35, to be a judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on September 17.
Barack Obama nominated Kaplan in March for the position. She was previously the acting director of the United States Office of Personnel Management.
Kaplan graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979. She will now take over Judge Christine Odell Cook Miller’s position of hearing monetary claims against the federal government for a 15-year term.
Kaplan “helped guide the process of extending marriage-related benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees and their spouses after the U.S. Supreme Court declared section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional,” during her time as OPM director, according to Advocate. Before that she headed the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, appointed to by former president Bill Clinton in 1998.
“These nominees have dedicated their careers to serving the public good,” said Obama after nominating Kaplan as well as Patricia Campbell-Smith, reported the Human Rights Campaign. “And in so doing, they have displayed an unyielding commitment to justice and integrity. I am confident that they will serve the American people well from the Court of Federal Claims, and I am honored to nominate them today.”