Politics

Republicans are about to make a hate group’s lawyer a federal appeals court judge

A gavel and a chair, suggesting judges
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The Senate just voted to end debate on a hate group lawyer who was nominated to a federal appeals court, which pretty much guarantees that she’ll be confirmed.

Allison Jones Rushing, 37, has been a lawyer for about nine years and has only tried four cases to judgment or verdict.

Part of her limited experience has come from the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ hate group known for its lawsuits to overturn anti-discrimination laws, like their work in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

ADF is also fighting conversion therapy bans and even defending a homeless shelter that wants to ban transgender people from its facility.

In 2013, she participated in a forum where she discussed the “moral and practical” reasons for the federal ban on marriage equality, including “a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality.”

Related: Arizona state government is secretly funding an anti-LGBTQ hate group

Donald Trump nominated Rushing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia.

Last night, the Senate voted 52-43 along party lines to end the debate on her confirmation. She is expected to be confirmed today.

At 37-years-old, she would be one of the youngest federal judges with a lifetime appointment.

Rushing is a partner at Williams & Connolly, where she has gotten most of her legal experience by defending corporations. She is also a member of the anti-LGBTQ Federalist Society, like many of Trump’s other judicial nominees.

Each year, around 7000 cases make it to federal circuit courts, but fewer than 150 make it to the Supreme Court. This means that Rushing will often be the final word on federal legal decisions concerning a wide range of issues, including LGBTQ rights.

Her confirmation hearing was scheduled when the Senate was not in session, and no Democrats could attend. Only two Republicans attended it.

“The GOP majority has eviscerated nearly all Senate rules and customs, such as consultation and blue slips, that protect the minority party’s prerogatives in the nomination and confirmation processes,” University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told the Huffington Post.

“Not healthy for the judiciary or the nation.”

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