U.S. Attorney Robert Lee Pitman will be formally invested as the federal judge for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio on April 17. He will be the state’s first openly gay judge.
Pitman was recommended for the judgeship last November by the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December. His appointment, which is a lifetime position, will fill the longest running judicial vacancy in the state. The seat has remained empty for six years.
Republican Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson submitted Pitman’s name to President Obama as one of two candidates for United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas in 2009. He was appointed to the post in 2011.
He was the acting U.S. attorney for the district after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and served as an adjunct professor at the UT School of Law.
Pitman is a native of Ft. Worth. He graduated from Abilene Christian University where he served as student body president. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
In 2003, Pitman was selected by the judges in the Western District to serve an eight-year term as a U.S. magistrate judge, holding civil trials and handling pretrial criminal tasks.
In an article in the Austin American Statesman at that time, Pitman described his upbringing as “parochial, really sort of traditional.”
He told the American Statesman that the turning point in his life came when he moved to Austin to attend law school. “Until that time, Pitman had struggled with his sexual orientation. In Austin, he said, he ‘came to terms’ with himself, and that launched him toward success, both professionally and personally. It started when he met other gay men at the law school who were smart and decent people, ‘not the people I was warned about,’ he said.”
Investiture of Robert Lee Pitman as United States District Judge for the Western District of Texas. Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 4 p.m. at the Jack Guenther Pavillion at the Briscoe Museum, 210 West Market Street, San Antonio. RSVP to [email protected].