Sweeney Makes History As First Openly LGBT Woman Confirmed to Federal Bench West of the Mississippi
Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper released the following statements after the Senate confirmed Charlotte Sweeney to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by a bipartisan vote of 48-46:
“For Charlotte, equality under the law isn’t an abstraction — it’s her life’s work,” said Bennet. “And now, Charlotte will be the first openly gay woman to serve as a federal judge west of the Mississippi, which is a powerful affirmation of America’s commitment to opportunity and equality for all. Charlotte’s obvious credentials, integrity, and much-needed experience more than qualify her for this role, and I’m delighted that the Senate came together to confirm her nomination.”
“Charlotte Sweeney’s career fighting discrimination is a testament to her character and judgement,” said Hickenlooper. “Her confirmation today, with bipartisan support, reaffirms our commitment to equal justice under the law.”
Bennet and Hickenlooper recommended Sweeney to the White House for this position in May, 2021. With her confirmation, Sweeney is the first openly LGBT federal judge in Colorado and the first openly LGBT woman to serve as a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi.
Most recently, Sweeney has served as a partner in the law firm of Sweeney & Bechtold, where she represents both public and private sector employees in discrimination, civil rights, and wrongful discharge cases. She also lectures regularly on employment law and employment litigation. Sweeney assisted in drafting the 2019 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act in Colorado. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Matthew Shepard Foundation since 2016, and is a member of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. She previously chaired the Labor and Employment Section of the Colorado Bar Association and served as President of the Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association. Notable accolades for her career include Colorado Super Lawyers repeatedly naming her one of the top 50 women attorneys in the state, and 5280 Magazine naming her one of the top lawyers in Colorado since 2014. Sweeney obtained her BS from California Lutheran University and her JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Yesterday, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor to support Sweeney’s nomination to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ahead of her confirmation vote.
Watch Bennet’s floor speech HERE.