Read a PDF of our statement here.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to advance the nomination of Neomi Rao to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Todd A. Cox, Policy Director at LDF, issued the following statement:

“By advancing Neomi Rao’s nomination for a lifetime seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Senate Judiciary Committee is welcoming vile anti-civil rights views onto the federal bench. Rather than distance herself from her offensive collegiate writings attacking affirmative action and racial justice, Rao has spent her career ingraining those perilous views into policy. At the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Rao has led the Trump Administration’s efforts to eliminate vital protections for communities of color, including the disparate impact standard, which is a crucial tool for proving discrimination in housing, policing, and education. Adding insult to injury, Rao joined the growing list of Trump judicial nominees who’ve failed to offer support for the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Her sounding of a judicial dog whistle – a signal that Brown’s legacy may be at risk – should raise alarms for all Senators.

“Ultimately, her long history standing athwart civil rights, coupled with her staggering lack of trial experience in either federal or state court, make her one of the administration’s most egregiously unqualified judicial nominees. We call on the U.S. Senate to protect the rule of law and integrity of the federal judiciary by voting ‘no’ on her nomination.”

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

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

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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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