Today the United States Senate made history by voting 98 to 0 to confirm Todd Hughes to serve as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The vote, makes him the first openly gay person to serve as a federal appellate judge. President Obama nominated Hughes, who is currently a Deputy Director in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, in February and his nomination was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in July by a voice vote. “Judge Hughes is a remarkably qualified jurist who has served his country tirelessly, and today that commitment to service made history,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As an openly gay man takes to the federal appellate court bench for the very first time, barriers to achievement for the next generation of LGBT young people are crumbling every day.” Hughes graduated from Duke University School of Law and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert B. Krupansky on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.The Federal Circuit is based in Washington, D.C. and, uniquely among federal appeals courts, has nationwide jurisdiction in a variety of subject areas, including international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, certain money claims against the United States government, federal personnel, veterans’ benefits, and public safety officers’ benefits claims.