The nomination of Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas to the federal bench appears to be over with his name omitted from a list of 64 nominees sent from the White House to the Senate this week.
The omission marks the end of the November 2012 nomination of what could have been the nation's first African-American, openly gay federal judge.
Thomas' advancement stalled when Florida's Republican junior Sen. Marco Rubio failed to advance a "blue slip," the endorsement traditionally required from the senators of the state where a federal candidate is nominated.
In an email, a spokeswoman for the senator cited, "... concerns about Judge Thomas's fitness for a lifetime federal appointment...about his judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate sentences," as reasons for the hesitation.
She cited two cases, one of which was imposing the death sentence on the man who raped and murdered South Dade teen Ana Maria Angel.
Angel's mother, upon learning of Rubio's concerns, said, "It's all political."
Responding to questions emailed to Rubio on Wednesday, his spokeswoman referred back to the previous statements.
An online website supporting Thomas had garnered more than 2,100 e-signatures and comments by Wednesday. The Coral Gables-based attorney who started it commented via email to Local 10.
"I think we all get to ruminate on the politicization of the Federal Judicial Nominating process," wrote David Tucker. "This is a tragedy and I'm sad that this not only happened but we allowed it to happen. Whatever happened to doing the right thing?"
Thomas, on the bench in his courtroom Wednesday at the Richard E. Gerstein Metro Justice Center, did not immediately return calls.