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Senate confirms White House official Rao for appeals court

WASHINGTON — The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on a high-profile appeals court.

Senators voted 53-46 to confirm White House official Neomi Rao for a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Rao, 45, heads the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where she plays a key role in Trump’s efforts to roll back federal rules and regulations. She also worked in the George W. Bush White House but has never tried a case in state or federal court.

Trump nominated Rao for the seat left vacant when Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court last fall.

Lawmakers from both parties expressed concerns about her past writings about sexual assault. Rao distanced herself from language used as an undergraduate.

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