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Senate confirms Beth Robinson as the first out LGBTQ+ woman to serve on a federal appeals court

Beth Robinson, a Vermont Supreme Court judge who served as co-counsel in the country’s first case to establish that LGBTQ+ couples deserve the same legal protections afforded to straight married couples, was confirmed by a 51-45 Senate vote on Monday as President Joe Biden’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Robinson is the first out LGBTQ+ woman to serve on a federal appeals court, following the appointment of Judge Todd Michael Hughes in 2013 — the first LGBTQ+ person to hold such a position. Experts say that her confirmation is a historic moment that should be celebrated, but it also signals that much more LGBTQ+ representation is needed in the country’s federal judiciary, as there are 179 judgeships in the Federal Appeals Courts.