The Senate confirmed Joan Larsen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in a 60-38 vote Tuesday (1 November). Every Republican and eight Democrats voted for her, despite objections from 27 LGBTI rights groups.
The lifetime position is a step below the US Supreme Court.
The groups include Lambda Legal and the National LGBT Bar Association. Together they sent a letter opposing the confirmation of Larsen and Amy Coney Barrett. The Senate confirmed Barrett yesterday.
In the letter, they explain the judges’ ‘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’.
Examples from Larsen’s career include voting against hearing an appeal from a lesbian mother about parental visitation. Larsen was on the Michigan Supreme Court at the time.
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California asked her about this during her hearing. Larsen simply said the state Supreme Court is ‘busy and selective’.
Larsen also wrote an article disagreeing with the core decision of the US Supreme Court to strike down Texas’ sodomy law.
‘Our federal judges should be fair and independent jurists, not ideological warriors who have passed a right-wing litmus test,’ said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.