The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Chairman Durbin:
On behalf of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association representing more than 130 public interest and civil rights organizations, I write to strongly support the confirmation of Justice Beth Robinson as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Justice Robinson’s exemplary legal career and decade as a Justice on the Vermont Supreme Court make her an exceptional candidate to serve as a federal judge. The Vermont Senate unanimously confirmed Justice Robinson to serve as one of the five justices on the Vermont Supreme Court in 2011. Because Vermont has no intermediate appellate court, Justice Robinson has heard nearly 1,800 appeals while serving as a justice and written hundreds of opinions on both civil and criminal matters. Those opinions demonstrate that Justice Robinson is a fair and impartial, consensus driven jurist.
In addition to her experience as an appellate judge, Justice Robinson spent nearly twenty years in private practice, representing workers, families, and persons with disabilities in state and federal court. One noteworthy highlight in that career is that Justice Robinson served as lead litigator in Baker v. Vermont, a decision by the Vermont Supreme Court that led Vermont to become the first state in the nation to recognize civil unions for LGBTQ+ couples. That case and Justice Robinson’s underlying strategy was instrumental in the United States Supreme Court’s eventual recognition of marriage equality for LGBTQ+ individuals, which allowed millions of couples to have their relationship recognized in the eyes of the law.
Finally, if confirmed, Justice Robinson would be the first openly lesbian judge to ever sit on a Circuit Court of Appeals and only the eighth openly lesbian federal judge in the nation’s history. Our courts and their jurists should be reflective of both the diversity and excellence of our nation. Justice Robinson is a testament to both.
Justice Robinson’s legal career shows an abiding commitment to equal justice for all Americans that will be vital on the federal bench. Given her exemplary qualifications, the Senate should swiftly confirm Beth Robinson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
President, Alliance for Justice