Senate Confirms MI Justice Larsen, Three Other Conservative Judges to Lifetime Judicial Appointments

By BTL Staff

WASHINGTON DC - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made good on his pledge to President Trump to get the Senate to confirm four highly controversial, anti-civil rights, and anti-LGBT judicial nominees to lifetime appointments on the federal courts of appeals.

Earlier this week the Senate confirmed Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and Amy Coney Barrett to the Seventh Circuit. Friday the Senate confirmed Allison H. Eid to the Tenth Circuit and Stephanos Bibas to the the Third Circuit.

Eight Democrats, including both Michigan U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, voted in favor of Justice Larsen's confirmation despite opposition from 27 LGBTQ organizations nationwide that signed a joint letter highlighting Larsen's troubling history of attacking LGBTQ families.

"After reviewing the records of Justice Larsen, we have concluded that 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," the joint letter read. "First and foremost, we continue to have serious concerns about Justice Larsen's willingness to comply fully with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges," the 2015 decision granting marriage equality for all.

In a written statement Peters defended his vote saying,"(I)reviewed Larsen's record on LGBT equality and raised it with her in person. She committed to upholding existing legal precedents and the hard fought protections the LGBT community has won." The statement also read, "Larsen believes that Obergefell is settled law as a precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court, and she has committed to faithfully follow it and all other Supreme Court precedent."

Stabenow said she ran a thorough vetting process and heard no objections to Larsen's appointment from the many legal and political groups she polled in Michigan.

But leaders of the national LGBTQ groups remain outraged.

"We deserve better than a Senate Majority Leader who will push through four nominees in one week with minimal opportunity for debate," said Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal's director of strategy. "We deserve better than a Senate Judiciary Committee who will rubberstamp anyone the President sends them regardless of their proven racist, homophobic, and misogynistic record. The trajectory of civil rights, progress and equality for the next several generations are at stake, and we all need to pay attention and demand better."


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