|Associate Justice of the
Vermont Supreme Court
November 28, 2011
|Appointed by||Peter Shumlin|
|Preceded by||Denise Johnson|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College,
University of Chicago Law School
Beth Robinson is an American lawyer and judge from Vermont who serves on the Vermont Supreme Court. Her nomination, made by Governor Peter Shumlin in October 2011, was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Vermont Senate on February 7, 2012.
Born in Indiana, Robinson graduated from Dartmouth College in 1986 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1989. Prior to her appointment, Robinson served as Shumlin's general counsel and had a varied legal career, including 18 years at Langrock, Sperry & Wool, a law firm with offices in Burlington and Middlebury. While there, she worked on issues of workers' compensation, personal injury, constitutional law and, most prominently, gay and lesbian rights. Robinson served as co-counsel in the case of Baker v. State, the landmark 1999 decision that led to Vermont becoming the first state to enact civil unions. She was subsequently involved in the 2009 legislative battle to enact same-sex marriage, chairing Vermont Freedom to Marry and working closely with Shumlin, a prominent supporter of same-sex marriage, who was then president pro tempore of the Vermont Senate. Robinson was also involved in Shumlin's gubernatorial campaign.
Shumlin announced on October 18, 2011 that he was appointing Robinson to fill the seat vacated by Justice Denise Johnson, who announced her retirement in August 2011. Since the Senate was not in session at the time, Robinson's appointment was considered interim until the Senate convened and acted upon her nomination. She was sworn in as an interim member of the court on November 28, 2011. The Senate voted on her nomination on February 7, 2012 and approved it by a vote of 26–0. Four of the thirty senators were absent for the vote: all four announced their support for Robinson's nomination the following day.
Robinson, a resident of Ferrisburgh, is a lesbian. She and her partner Kym Boyman entered into a civil union in 2001 and got married in 2010. Robinson is one of nine openly LGBT state supreme court justices currently serving in the United States.
- "Journal of the Vermont Senate: February 7, 2012" (PDF).
- "Vt. gov nominates Robinson to Supreme Court". Associated Press. October 18, 2011.
- "Miller gets post in Shumlin cabinet". Addison County Independent. November 24, 2010.
- "Vermont gov appoints counsel to supreme court". Legal Newsline. October 24, 2011.
- "Governor appoints Beth Robinson to Vt SupCo". WCAX. October 18, 2011.
- "Vermont Constitution, Section 33".
- "Same-sex marriage advocate joins Vermont Supreme Court". The Burlington Free Press. November 28, 2011.
- "Journal of the Vermont Senate: February 8, 2012" (PDF).
- "Vt. gov.'s high court nominee pushed civil unions, marriage law". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. October 21, 2011.