One of President Obama's two nominees Thursday for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Todd M. Hughes, would become the first out gay appeals court judge in the country, if confirmed by Congress. Hughes currently is the deputy director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice. The White House states the Hughes also has served as an adjunct lecturer in law with the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and as an instructor for Duke University's writing program. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is a specialty court. Unlike other federal appeals courts, the federal circuit only considers a limited docket of cases: appeals of patent cases, appeals from the Court of Claims and other specifically delineated areas of appeal. Other appeals court, in contrast, have the cases they hear determined by geography.
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