Biden taps Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson as appeals court nominee

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BURLINGTON, Vt. — State Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson may soon be making national history.

The Ferrisburgh-based judge was nominated by President Joe Biden on Thursday for a judicial seat on the federal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which covers cases from Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.

If confirmed for the position, Robinson would be the first LGBT woman to serve on a federal circuit court, according to a news release from the White House.

Robinson's nomination follows the recent death of former 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Peter Hall. He served as circuit judge for 17 years, from 2004 until his death in March of this year.

Photo: AP, Illustration: USA Today Network
Photo: AP, Illustration: USA Today Network

Women of the Century Vermont: VT Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson on list

Robinson was a key attorney in the 1999 Vermont Supreme Court case Baker v. Vermont, representing the plaintiffs in the landmark case that lead to Vermont’s civil union law, the first in the nation.

From there, Robinson was involved in the 2009 legislative decision to enact same-sex marriage. Becoming associate justice of the Vermont Supreme Court in 2011, Robinson succeeded Denise R. Johnson, the first woman to be elected justice in the court. The position also made Robinson became Vermont’s first openly gay Supreme Court Justice.

“Justice Robinson has been a steadfast public servant for the people of Vermont and has served admirably on the Vermont Supreme Court," said Gov. Phil Scott, in a news release following the announcement.

"She will make a great addition to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, bringing the Vermont values of commitment to justice and equality, fairness, and Freedom & Unity to the bench."

Robinson must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Contact Ethan Bakuli at (802) 556-1804 or ebakuli@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.

This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Vermont's Beth Robinson may be first LGBT federal appeals court judge