Published on: Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The full U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved Judge Melissa R. DuBose’s historic nomination as the first person of color and first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island (article available here).

The vote on President Joe Biden’s nomination is the 100th time the Senate has confirmed a Black woman to a lifetime position on the federal bench (including six Black women who were confirmed multiple times), and DuBose is the 10th openly LGBTQ judge confirmed during the Biden administration, according to the Leadership Conference. She will assume her duties on Jan. 1, 2025.

DuBose, 55, graduated from Providence College in 1990 with an undergraduate degree in political science and went on to receive her teaching certification from the Providence College School of Continuing Education. She taught history and civics in the Providence public schools for a decade and earned her law degree from the Roger Williams University School of Law in 2004.

She became a state special assistant attorney general, assigned to the criminal division from 2005 to 2008. She went on to serve as senior legal counsel at a law firm. In December 2018, she was appointed to the state District Court.  She has served as a state District Court judge since 2019.