The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced the nomination of Steven Menashi for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, despite the backlash the White House lawyer faced after a testy nomination hearing last month.

The committee’s vote came nearly a day after The New York Times reported on a legal memo Menashi wrote while he was acting general counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. That memo outlined a plan to use Social Security data to deny students debt relief, a legal strategy that was ultimately rejected by a federal judge.

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