Senate Confirms Biden Judge Who Fought For Marriage Equality

The Senate voted Tuesday to substantiate Rita Lin, who beforehand fought for marriage equality in federal courtroom, to a lifetime federal judgeship.

Lin, 45, is now the primary Chinese language American lady to serve on the U.S. District Court docket for the Northern District of California.

Lin was confirmed in a 52-45 vote. Each Democrat current voted for her, together with three Republicans: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) didn’t vote.

For the previous 5 years, Lin has been an affiliate choose on the San Francisco County Superior Court docket, and she or he beforehand served as an assistant U.S. lawyer. She was additionally in non-public follow for 10 years, throughout which era she turned a nationwide title within the combat for LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality.

In 2012, Lin was co-counsel in a lawsuit that resulted within the federal Protection of Marriage Act ― which outlined marriage as an association between one man and one lady ― being declared unconstitutional in a U.S. district courtroom.

She confronted some scrutiny from Republicans in her Senate affirmation listening to final November. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) pressed her on a 1998 article she wrote in faculty, by which she stated that members of the Christian Coalition are “bigots.”

“Did you write that?” Kennedy requested Lin.

“I did write that when I was 18 years old ― or 20 years old,” Lin stated. “I do want to be clear, I do not agree with that today. I wrote that before I went to law school, before I had any kind of ―”

“You were a grown woman when you wrote this,” Kennedy interrupted.

“It was before I had a professional career,” Lin stated. “I was a junior at Harvard.”

“Wow,” Kennedy stated, twice, earlier than shifting on.

The Christian Coalition was a conservative spiritual advocacy group launched by Pat Robertson, a outstanding determine in conservative Christian political and leisure circles who for years promoted sexist, homophobic and Islamophobic concepts. The group was denied tax-exempt standing in 1999 as a result of it engaged in political actions.

Rita Lin, an associate judge on the San Francisco County Superior Court, testifies during her confirmation hearing for a lifetime federal judgeship before the Senate judiciary committee in November 2022.
Rita Lin, an affiliate choose on the San Francisco County Superior Court docket, testifies throughout her affirmation listening to for a lifetime federal judgeship earlier than the Senate judiciary committee in November 2022.

The Management Convention on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of greater than 230 nationwide civil and human rights organizations, strongly supported Lin’s nomination. The group praised her “impressive professional experience” and highlighted the “important lived experience” she would deliver to the courtroom as a member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander neighborhood.

“If confirmed, Judge Lin would be the only active AAPI woman serving on the bench in the Northern District of California and only the second in the court’s history,” the coalition stated in an announcement. “California is home to nearly 6.5 million AAPI people, yet this court did not have an AAPI judge until 2010 … The confirmation of Judge Lin would be an important step towards ensuring that our federal courts reflect and represent the diversity of our nation.”

President Joe Biden has introduced vital range to the federal bench, and the White Home has been shifting at a comparatively quick clip to appoint individuals to vacant courtroom seats. However with the 2024 election season looming and the potential for the Senate and/or the White Home to flip to GOP management, some progressives are agitating for Senate Democratic leaders to make it a a lot increased precedence to substantiate Biden’s courtroom picks.

Svante Myrick, president of the progressive advocacy group Individuals For the American Approach, final week known as out “a traffic jam that’s now up to 23 circuit and district court nominees who are awaiting floor votes.”

“The current administration is falling behind the Trump-McConnell benchmark for numbers of federal judges confirmed at this point in a presidency, with 141 to Trump’s 150,” Myrick stated in an announcement, referring to former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirming big numbers of far-right judges after they managed the White Home and the Senate.

“The Senate has to pick up the pace and prioritize these confirmations if we ever hope to rebalance a court system pushed to the right by McConnell and Trump,” Myrick continued. “Biden judges are making enormous contributions to the federal bench, they exemplify the deep commitment to civil rights we want in judges ― and we just need more of them.”

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