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The Latest: Civil rights nominee says he’ll be aggressive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the confirmation hearing for the Trump administration’s top civil rights lawyer (all times local):

4 p.m.

The Washington labor lawyer tapped to be the Trump administration’s top civil rights attorney is offering assurances of his commitment to defending voting rights and prosecuting hate crimes.

Eric Dreiband (DRY-band) said during a Wednesday hearing that hate crimes will be his top priority if he is confirmed to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division. He says he is disgusted by violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The department is conducting a hate crimes probe of the case.

Rights groups say they have doubts about where Dreiband stands on key issues facing the division, including criminal justice, policing, voting and gay rights.

But he says his experience on both sides of discrimination cases gives him a well-rounded understanding of civil rights law.

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4:50 a.m.

The Washington labor lawyer tapped to be the Trump administration’s top civil rights lawyer will face questions about his background during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Advocates are lining up to oppose the confirmation of Eric Dreiband (DRY-band) to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division. They say they have doubts about where he stands on key issues facing the division, including criminal justice, policing, voting and gay rights.

But Dreiband’s supporters say his experience on both sides of discrimination cases gives him a well-rounded understanding of civil rights law. He has represented large companies against discrimination lawsuits. But he also served as the top lawyer at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Bush administration, bringing lawsuits on behalf of women and minorities.

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