Beth Robinson: Senate confirms first out LGBTQ woman to serve on federal circuit court

Robinson, who has served as an associate justice on the Vermont Supreme Court since 2011, was confirmed in a 51-45 vote. Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine were the only Republicans to vote in favor of her confirmation.

Vermont’s senators voiced their support for Robinson on Monday.

“As an advocate, Beth Robinson has been rightfully hailed as a tireless champion for equal rights and equal justice. But more importantly, her record as a Vermont Supreme Court Justice clearly demonstrates her fairness, impartiality, and loyalty to rule of law, above all else,” Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a tweet ahead of her confirmation.
Following her confirmation, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said in a tweet, “I know you will make Vermont proud and will be an excellent addition to the federal bench.”
Robinson was nominated by President Joe Biden in August during his sixth round of recommendations. The White House said in its news release at the time of her nomination that Biden’s nominations are part of a larger effort to “fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.”
Robinson, a graduate of University of Chicago Law School, practiced family law, personal injury, employment law and workers’ compensation, as well as worked pro bono on issues geared toward advancing LGBTQ+ rights in Vermont, according to the White House.

Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ legal advocacy group, applauded Robinson’s confirmation Monday.

“Judge Robinson’s extraordinary professional expertise makes her well qualified for this important position and her confirmation as the first openly lesbian judge to a federal appeals court seat is cause for celebration for our community,” Sharon McGowan, chief strategy officer for Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

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