Senate confirms first openly LGBTQ woman to a life seat on the United States Court of Appeals
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Robinson was a civil lawyer in private practice from 1993 to 2010, during which time she focused on civil litigation, including employment law, workers’ compensation, contract disputes and labor law. family. She has also represented LGBTQ clients in civil and civil rights cases, including leading the freedom to marry movement in Vermont.
“Robinson’s confirmation is particularly historic given the lack of LGBTQ + representation in our courts and his legacy of advocating for LGBTQ + equality,” said Rakim Brooks, president of Alliance for Justice, a national association of over 120 progressive, court-oriented organizations.
Robinson’s confirmation also shifts the balance of that court towards a panel of predominantly Democratic-appointed judges, a detail progressive legal lawyers have hailed as a sign that Biden is already making real progress in overhauling the country’s federal courts. . The Senate has now confirmed a total of three of Biden’s candidates for this tribunal.
“President Biden’s emphasis on the early appointment of highly qualified and professionally diverse judges is bearing fruit in the most important appellate courts,” said Chris Kang, chief counsel for the advocacy group. left Demand Justice.
With Robinson’s confirmation, as well as another vote on Monday to confirm Toby Heytens in a U.S. appeals court, Biden now has a total of 28 appellate and district court candidates confirmed since taking office. function. This is more than any American president in modern history has confirmed at this point in his tenure.
By comparison, at this point in their presidency, Donald Trump had confirmed a total of 12 candidates for appeals and district courts, Barack Obama had confirmed five, George W. Bush had confirmed 12 and Bill Clinton. had confirmed eight. Going back even further, George HW Bush had confirmed seven, Ronald Reagan had confirmed 19 and Jimmy Carter had confirmed 26.
Biden has also kept his promise to make his judicial candidates more diverse than those of his predecessors, both professionally and demographically. While most of Trump’s judicial picks are white male corporate lawyers, Biden’s nominees so far have included public defenders, civil rights lawyers, voting rights lawyers, and historic firsts with Native American and Muslim American choices.
He has already nominated more black women to lifelong seats in federal courts of appeals than all but one of the previous presidents.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) noted that the Senate confirmed seven other judges last week, almost all of people of color and five women.
“Among them, there were more federal defenders, civil rights lawyers, electoral experts. They will bring a diversity that the justice system so badly needs, ”he said during a speech in the Senate. “It’s no longer a bench … it’s just prosecutors, partners in large law firms, but rather many, many others from all walks of life with different and necessary perspectives on the federal bench. “
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