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The president hailed Judge Pillard’s confirmation Thursday and noted that the 11-seat court will have five women on the bench for the first time in history.

“Throughout her career, Ms. Pillard has displayed an unwavering commitment to justice and integrity,” Mr. Obama said. “Her landmark accomplishments on behalf of women and families include Supreme Court cases defending the constitutionality of the Family and Medical Leave Act and opening the doors of the Virginia Military Institute to female students. I’m confident she will be a diligent, thoughtful and judicious addition to the D.C. Circuit.”

Mr. McConnell said she is a “liberal ideologue” and an activist on the abortion issue, and could be hostile to the freedom of religion.

“It is an understatement to say that these sorts of views are worrying for someone the president wants on one of our nation’s top courts,” Mr. McConnell said. “She seems like a person with the attitude and disposition of a left-wing academic.”