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Judge confirmed to federal appeals court despite opposition

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 was nominated by President Donald Trump in August for the lifetime appointment. She was confirmed Tuesday by a vote along party lines.

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

Rushing is a partner at Williams & Connolly, a Washington law firm, and 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.

Republicans praised Rushing’s confirmation.

Democrats and a coalition of more than 200 civil rights groups were strongly opposed.

The Washington Post reported that in a letter to senators, the coalition described Rushing as an unqualified “ideological extremist.”

She defended the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as 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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