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The Republican-controlled Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm President Donald Trump’s federal appeals court nominee Neomi Rao who was opposed by civil rights groups for her controversial writings about minorities and sexual assault.

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The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund condemned Rao’s lifetime appointment to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Neomi Rao’s refusal to endorse the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education didn’t happen when she was in college – it happened this year,” the organization said in a statement. “And her work leading the Trump Administration’s efforts to eliminate critical protections for communities of color, including the disparate impact standard, didn’t happen when she was in college either.”

During her confirmation hearing in February, Rao came under fire from civil rights groups after she claimed that Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision inspired her.

“Wow. Neomi Rao just said she was ‘inspired by Martin Luther King’s vision.’ Let’s be clear: Rao has supported MANY policies that have rolled back civil and human rights advances for millions of people in this country. How, precisely, was that inspired by Dr. King?” tweeted The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations.

Rao, 45, worked in the George W. Bush White House and the Trump administration but has never tried a case in court.

“Neomi Rao’s collegiate writings are offensive and show that she should not be entrusted to serve in a lifetime appointment to the bench,” the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said in a previous statement. “Nothing in her record suggests she has disavowed these views. From her inflammatory language around LGBTQ rights and date rape, to her idea that affirmative action is a ‘hot, money-making idea,’ we should be alarmed that the nomination ever progressed, and that she has been included as a potential Supreme Court pick.”

The Leadership Conference said Rao is disqualified as a judicial nominee because of her long history of strongly opposing the advancement of civil rights protections for communities of color.

“Rao halted an EEOC rule that required large companies to disclose what they pay employees by sex, race, and ethnicity – a rule that was intended to remedy the unequal pay that remains rampant in the American workplace,” the organization noted.


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