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US Senate confirms Rao, latest of Trump's controversial judge picks

AFP  |  Washington 

The US on Wednesday confirmed another of Donald Trump's controversial picks for a powerful federal judgeship, as the leaves an increasingly prominent mark on the nation's courts.

was confirmed on a party-line vote of 53-46 in the Senate, where Trump's hold the majority, despite her past writings that some critics have interpreted as blaming survivors of sexual assaults for being attacked.

At 45, Rao now becomes a on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most powerful benches in the country, replacing who endured a bitter confirmation battle last year after Trump named him to the

During that hearing Kavanaugh faced allegations of sexual abuse dating back to his time high school.

In Rao's own hearing before the Judiciary Committee, she distanced herself from some of her early writings, saying she penned them during "a time of exploration."

"If a woman drinks so much that she cannot choose, well, getting there is part of her choice," Rao wrote in a review while studying at in the early 1990s.

Democrats were united against her. They accuse Rao, a who until now headed the administration's office of regulatory affairs, of weakening protections for consumers and the environment.

The US Constitution stipulates that the nominates federal and Supreme Court judges for life.

The has to date confirmed 90 of Trump's judicial nominees, as the seeks to reshape the federal judiciary to make it more conservative.

"Will soon be 145 Judges!" Trump tweeted at the weekend, referring to the dozens of his nominees awaiting confirmation for federal district courts and circuit appellate courts.

Several of the vacancies in the 860 permanent judicial positions have been filled with jurists that earned stamps of approval from the conservative

Many of the new judges are young. Last week the Senate green-lighted Trump's pick Allison Jones Rushing to a US appeals court despite concerns about her experience. Born in 1982, she could spend several decades on the bench.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 23:45 IST