District Judge Deborah Batts, the first openly gay federal judge and a trailblazer for diversity in the judiciary, has died.
She was 72 and served in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan.
Zach Stern, spokesman for the SDNY, confirmed Batts’s death. Additional details weren’t immediately available.
She was currently overseeing a case against celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti over allegations he stole a book advance from his adult-film star client, Stormy Daniels.
Colleagues remembered Batts as a spirited and devoted colleague.
“Deborah Batts was a trailblazer in every respect: an openly gay African-American ...