President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Robinson, who led the marriage equality movement in Vermont, could become the first openly LGBTQ woman to hold a judgeship on any federal appeals court, the White House said. Her appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Robinson, 56, has been an associate justice on the state's high court for the last decade, having previously served as counsel to former governor Peter Shumlin.
In separate statements, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Gov. Phil Scott praised the nomination. Leahy called Robinson a champion for equal rights "in the mold of the late [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg."
Before her career as a judge, Robinson was an effective legal and political advocate for marriage equality in Vermont. She was co-counsel on the landmark Baker v. State of Vermont case in 1999 that paved the way for civil unions. The legislature passed same-sex marriage into law 10 years later, following a lobbying effort in which Robinson was instrumental.