Two Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Vetted For Federal Posts

, Daily Business Review

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Beth Bloom

The White House is vetting Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Beth Bloom and Darrin Gayles for two open positions on the federal bench in Miami, a legal blog reported.

The Southern District of Florida blog, which is associated with the Daily Business Review, said the judges were picked from among four finalists selected by the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission in August. Miami-Dade Judges Peter Lopez and John Thornton rounded out those on the short list.

Both Bloom and Gayles are serving in the civil division.

The openings were created when U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz took senior status last November and plans by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham to take senior status this month.

Seitz's office confirmed she had cancer that's in remission.

In the meantime, the nomination of Judge William L. Thomas, who is black and openly gay, for the federal bench remains in limbo after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., refused to allow the Senate Judiciary Committee to take a vote on him.

Atlantic magazine this week wrote an article entitled, "Why Aren't There More Black Federal Judges in Alabama, Florida and Georgia." It called Rubio's initial backing of Thomas' nomination and his turnaround "deplorable."

Bloom received her law degree from the University of Miami in 1988 and got her start on the county court bench. Bloom has consistently scored well in bar polls and was deemed qualified or exceptionally qualified by 96 percent of survey respondents last year.

Gayles, a former federal prosecutor and county court judge, joined Bloom in the top rankings with a 95 percent favorable rating. He got his law degree from George Washington University in 1993.

Both judges were incumbents when they were elected without opposition to new terms last year.

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