The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to confirm Neomi Rao to a lifetime appointment to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Todd A. Cox, Policy Director at LDF, issued the following statement:

“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. 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. The idea that our opposition to her nomination was rooted only in her offensive collegiate writings simply misses the mark. It was always about her abhorrent views on affirmative action and racial justice, which haven’t changed, and her career spent putting those beliefs into policy.

“The Senate must understand the impact that confirming judicial nominees with a clear anti-civil rights record has on future litigants with civil rights claims. Putting these nominees on the bench for life undermines faith in the justice system and threatens to undo decades of essential progress. Ultimately, Senate Republicans’ decision to continue steamrolling dissenting voices in the nominations process is not just done at their peril, but at all of ours.”

Read LDF’s letter to Senate leadership opposing Rao’s nomination here.

Read LDF Policy Director Todd Cox’s op-ed discussing her nomination here.

Read LDF’s statement on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to advance her nomination here.

Read LDF’s statement on Rao’s collegiate writings here.



Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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