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Lambda Legal Applauds Confirmation of First Openly Lesbian Judge to Federal Appeals Court

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“We expect that Judge Robinson’s historic nomination and confirmation will not be the only ‘first’ during the Biden Administration for the LGBTQ community, who are woefully underrepresented in the federal judiciary.”
November 1, 2021

Today, the Senate voted 51-45 to confirm Beth Robinson to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Robinson, who was previously an associate judge on the Vermont Supreme Court, is the first openly lesbian woman to serve on a U.S. Court of Appeals.

Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director for Lambda Legal, Sharon McGowan, issued the following statement:

“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. LGBT representation in the courts is critical because judges that more accurately reflect the diversity of our nation give legitimacy to these important institutions, which have such a profound impact on the lives of so many. Judge Robinson’s lived and professional experiences will be assets in her work to fulfill our nation’s promise of justice.

“We expect that Judge Robinson’s historic nomination and confirmation will not be the only ‘first’ during the Biden Administration for the LGBTQ community, who are woefully underrepresented in the federal judiciary. There are 870 federal judgeships, but only 13—now 14—are held by openly gay or lesbian judges. Five federal circuits do not have a single openly LGBT judge. And we are still awaiting our first openly bisexual or transgender judicial nominee. The delivery of justice will be stronger when these diverse perspectives are brought into the fold.”

Correction: November 4, 2021

A previous version of this statement misstated the number of openly gay and lesbian judges in federal judgeships. There are now 14 openly lesbian and gay judges in the federal judiciary, including Judge Beth Robinson; not 13. And five federal circuits do not have a single openly LGBT judge; not four. 

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Contact Info

Graciela González: 312-545-8140 | ggonzalez@lambdalegal.org

 

Related Issues: Fair Courts Project

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