Senate Confirms Judge Opposed by 27 LGBT Rights Groups

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With a 60-38 Vote, Trump's nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Joan Larsen, has been confirmed to the lifelong position. Lambda Legal and the National LGBT Bar Association were among the 27 LGBT rights groups who sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee protesting Larsen's confirmation.

The letter argued that Larsen was unfit to be a federal judge because her “views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law.”  

While serving in Michigan's Supreme Court, Larsen has had a record of voting against hearing custody cases that dealt with same-sex parents. In speeches to the Federalist Society, she criticized the Obama administration for not defending the antigay Defense of Marriage Act. She has also argued for a law that made sodomy illegal in Texas; she wrote in 2004 that she disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision to strike it down.

Larsen was previously on Donald Trump's shortlist for the Supreme Court. At the time, he stated he was looking for justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Instead, she will serve in U.S. Court of Appeals, which is one court level below.

“Our federal judges should be fair and independent jurists, not ideological warriors who have passed a right-wing litmus test,” Vanita Gupta, the president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement.

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