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The Senate confirms Allison Rushing, a judicial nominee who once interned for a hate group

She’s one of several young, conservative judges Republicans are continuing to push through.

Allison Jones Rushing, nominee to be US Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, is sworn in to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on judicial nominations in the Dirksen Building on October 17, 2018. 
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

The Senate has just confirmed Allison Rushing, a nominee who once interned with the Alliance Defending Freedom, as a judge for the Fourth Circuit. Rushing, 37, is the latest appeals court judge whom Republicans have been intent to push through, even as Democrats have criticized her limited experience as well as her past work with ADF, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group for its efforts backing the “recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S.”

Rushing is among a wave of younger nominees that Senate Republicans have been keen to advance in recent days, HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery notes. According to a Vox analysis from last December, President Trump’s judicial nominees overall have been whiter, more male, and slightly younger than those proposed by former President Barack Obama. Because many of Trump’s judges have been white men in their 40s, they’re expected to establish an enduring conservative presence on the courts that could last for decades.

Rushing is currently a partner at the Williams & Connolly law firm in Washington, DC, and now becomes one of the youngest federal judges to ascend to the bench, according to Bloomberg Law’s Patrick Gregory. Democrats have questioned her qualifications for the position, since Rushing had only practiced law for about a decade prior to her confirmation.

Additionally, left-leaning activist groups including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights have raised concerns about her previous time working with ADF, a group that has helped defend businesses’ ability to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals. Republicans, meanwhile, have praised the experience she has had and touted her work filing briefs to the Supreme Court.

Rushing’s confirmation hearing was also among those that were held during a recess period last fall over Democratic objections. Only a handful of Republicans attended her hearing as a result.

In addition to Rushing, there are a few other judicial nominees on the Senate’s docket this week. They include Chad Readler and Eric Murphy, both Sixth Circuit nominees whom Democrats have opposed. Readler is known for authoring the Trump administration’s brief challenging protections the Affordable Care Act established for people with preexisting conditions. And Murphy has previously argued against marriage equality in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case.

All three nominees are indicative of the ideological bent the administration has sought to solidify in the courts as it continues to send through more notably conservative judges.

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