A bright young woman has ascended to an unusually high place in Washington. But rather than celebrate this, as the mainstream media has with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and others, it has turned on this woman because she is conservative.
Allison Rushing, already a partner at the prestigious Williams & Connolly law firm in Washington, became not only the youngest federal judge in the country at 36, but a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which covers North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina and Maryland.
She has clerked for two Supreme Court justices – Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch – and her work writing briefs and opinions was cited by senators as a reason she will make an excellent appeals court judge.
But the headlines from the mainstream media focused on other matters.
“The Senate confirms Allison Rushing, a judicial nominee who once interned for a hate group,” read the headline on Vox. “She’s one of several young, conservative judges Republicans are continuing to push through,” read the subhead on the story by Li Zhou.
The lead spelled it out.
“The Senate has just confirmed Allison Rushing, a nominee who once interned with the Alliance Defending Freedom, as a judge for the Fourth Circuit,” Zhou wrote. “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.’”
The Washington Post offered “The Senate just confirmed a judge who interned at an anti-LGBTQ group. She’ll serve for life,” by Eli Rosenberg.
The story featured one short quote from her home-state senator, Tom Tillis, a Republican, thanking his colleagues for supporting Rushing and saying, “’I’ve had the opportunity to get to know her through the nomination process, and I know she’s going to do a great job.’”
The entire rest of the story was devoted to activists for gay groups, quotes from a statement by a coalition of left-leaning groups, such as the NAACP, Human Rights Campaign and ACLU, decrying her work with Alliance Defending Freedom and complaining the nomination was pushed through committee during a Senate recess in the fall when few members were present.
It also devoted several paragraphs to explaining why Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group that fights for religious freedom, belonged on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.
“The group is known for the cases it has supported in front of the Supreme Court, such as that of the Colorado baker who fought for the right not 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.
“And the Southern Poverty Law Center says the group has supported recriminalization of homosexuality in the United States, defending state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad and linked homosexuality to pedophilia.
Alliance Defending Freedom “advocates for your right to freely live out your faith,” its website says. It provides legal help to those being persecuted for their faith. It is run by Michael Farris, a former candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia and the president of Patrick Henry College in Virginia.
Among its founders are Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Larry Burkett, whose organization, Crown Financial Ministries, helps Christians with their finances, and James Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family in the late-1970s.