Williams & Connolly partner Allison Jones Rushing, in line to become one of the youngest federal appellate judges in the country, defended her “life experience” and her work for an anti-LGBT organization in response to written questions from Senate Judiciary Democratic members.

Committee Democrats did not attend Rushing’s Oct. 17 confirmation hearing on her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The hearing was scheduled during the Senate’s recess for midterm elections, lasted less than hour and was held with only two committee members present, both Republicans.