Next Federal Circuit Judge: Todd Hughes

The Senate has unanimously (98-0) confirmed Todd Hughes to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. With Hughes on the bench, the Federal Circuit will now have a full-bench of twelve judges in addition to six judges with senior status. Although not a patent litigator, Hughes has apparently argued more cases at the Federal Circuit than any other attorney based upon his long career in the commercial litigation branch of the Department of Justice. No date has been announced for his swearing-in. However, Chief Judge Rader prefers to take action quickly and I expect that Judge Hughes will be hearing cases within the next few weeks.

Hughes is the first openly gay judge to be confirmed for any Federal appellate court. The 98-0 confirmation decision suggests that no senator has a principled reason for rejecting judicial candidates based upon their sexual orientation.

Congratulations Judge Hughes!

14 thoughts on “Next Federal Circuit Judge: Todd Hughes

  1. As to his views on 101: you never can tell what will happen to a person when they are given intellectual freedom and a lifelong job, but the DOJ was the author of Benson and continues to present the same arguments that are present in Benson. Hughes presented many of those arguments. My problem with these judges is that they don’t understand patent law. How many of them, for example, could actually read a patent? I would bet that less than 1/2 the fed. cir. judges now could actually pick up a random patent,read it, and get the scope of the invention in about 1/2 hour like almost all good patent attorneys can.

  2. Hughes is the first openly gay judge to be confirmed for any Federal appellate court.That’s hard to believe. 2013!CONGRATS.Onward.

    1. I long for the day that ANY comment regarding someone’s sexual orientation will be met with a ‘OK, so what?’ response.It is quite immaterial the man’s sexual preference, and thus, quite immaterial to celebrate the preference one way or another.

      1. It is quite immaterial the man’s sexual preference, and thus, quite immaterial to celebrate the preference one way or another.The point is that, at least historically, such differences between people were the furthest thing from “immaterial” considerations in this country. I think there was a Supreme Court case just this year dealing with wholesale government discrimination against gay people in the context of marriage rights.What many of us find worth “celebrating” are the fairly recent and positive changes in public (and Congressional) attitudes about race, gender, and sexual preference. That’s not to say that, as a society, we don’t have a long way to go. There was some ridiculous talk when Obama was elected about how we entered some “post-racial” era in America, as if his electability proved that racism was no longer an “issue” in America. That will almost surely never be the case but it’s good to know that at least all of the racists who grew up when it was legal in this country to discriminate against blacks are going to be dead in a relatively short period of time.

        1. You could celebrate this by understanding the Church-Turing Thesis. Alan Turing was chemically ca$trated by the U.K. for being a practicing homosexual.

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