Biden Includes Historic LGBTQ Pick In Latest Judicial Nominees

If confirmed, Beth Robinson would become the first openly LGBTQ woman to ever serve on any U.S. appeals court.
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President Joe Biden will announce four new judicial nominees on Thursday and he’s including a historic LGBTQ pick in the mix.

Biden plans to tap Beth Robinson for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Robinson, who has been an associate judge on the Vermont Supreme Court since 2011, would be the first openly LGBTQ woman to ever serve on any U.S. appeals court if confirmed.

Robinson was a civil litigator in private practice from 1993 to 2010, during which time she focused on civil litigation including employment law, workers’ compensation, contract disputes and family law. She also represented LGBTQ clients in civil and civil rights cases, including leading the freedom to marry movement in Vermont.

Biden plans to announce two district court nominees as well: Mary Katherine Dimke, for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, and Charlotte Sweeney, for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Sweeney would make a little history, too. If confirmed, she would be the first openly LGBTQ federal judge in Colorado and the first openly LGBTQ woman to serve as a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi.

Finally, Biden is also nominating John Howard to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Howard is currently an administrative law judge with the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings.

With Thursday’s news, Biden has put forward a total of 35 judicial nominees. His team has been moving quickly to fill vacant court seats, in part to try to counter the effect that former President Donald Trump had on the courts with his massive number of conservative, ideological judges. Biden’s first judicial nominations came sooner in his presidency than any of his recent predecessors, and he’s been getting his judges confirmed faster than decades of past presidents.

Biden’s nominees are far more diverse, both professionally and demographically, than Trump’s were. While most of Trump’s court picks were white, male corporate lawyers, Biden’s nominees include public defenders, civil rights lawyers, voting rights lawyers and historic firsts with Native American and Muslim American picks.

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