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Rushing confirmed to 4th Circuit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed a 37-year-old lawyer as a judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals despite opposition from civil rights and LGBTQ groups.

Allison Jones Rushing, a partner at Williams & Connolly, a Washington, D.C. law firm, was confirmed for the lifetime appointment on March 5 by a 53-44 vote. All of the Senate’s Republicans voted to confirm Rushing; all of the Democrats present and voting voted against.

The 4th Circuit hears federal appeals from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

A coalition of more than 200 civil rights groups had strongly opposed Rushing, who once interned at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group. The group is known for the cases it has supported before the Supreme Court, including the case of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding and the Hobby Lobby ruling that allowed companies to opt out of covering contraceptives for their employees because of their religious beliefs.

During her confirmation hearing, Rushing defended the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. She said she supported the four conservative justices who dissented when the Supreme Court struck down the ruling in 2015.

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