The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance the nomination of Neomi Rao to the U.S. Court of appeals.
WASHINGTON ― The Senate voted Tuesday to advance President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee Neomi Rao, who has a record of weakening protections for sexual assault survivors and once argued that women could avoid date rape by staying sober.
The Senate voted 53-46 to move forward with Rao’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second most powerful court in the country and often a stepping stone to a seat on the Supreme Court. Every Republican voted for her. Every Democrat voted against her except for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who did not vote.
Rao will get her final confirmation vote on Wednesday. If confirmed, as expected, she will fill the seat formerly held by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
A 45-year-old lawyer, Rao runs the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a division of the Office of Management and Budget that evaluates federal government regulations. Since November 2017, she’s stalled proposed guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to give employers more information on how to handle sexual misconduct. And under her leadership, OIRA signed off on a proposed rule change by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that would narrow the definition of sexual harassment and assault on college campuses and strengthen the rights of the accused.
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