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(LifeSiteNews) — The pro-abortion director of strategic litigation for the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is one step closer to being an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, a move that’s drawing criticism from conservatives worried about the organization’s growing influence under the Biden administration.

On Thursday, February 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 along party lines to send Nancy Abudu’s nomination to the Senate, where she will likely be confirmed given Democrats currently wield a 51-49 majority.

Abudu, who joined the SPLC in 2019 but previously handled voting rights lawsuits for the radical American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is one of more than twenty Biden nominees approved by the committee last week. Others include Dale Ho, also from the ACLU, and Julie Rinkelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Rinkelman, who was born to Jewish parents in Ukraine, represented the pro-abortion side in the now famous Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The SPLC has been in the news recently thanks to a leaked FBI memo that cited a bogus report it published over a decade ago on the subject “Radical Traditional Catholicism.” The report, which baselessly accused nine Catholic media outlets of promoting white supremacy and “anti-Semitism,” was used as a primary source by the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia office to justify its surveillance of Catholics who attend the Latin Mass. After intense backlash, the FBI retracted the memo but has not clarified if it is no longer monitoring Traditional Catholics.

In 2017, Abudu represented an abortion facility in Gainesville before the Florida Supreme Court. She successfully argued that the state’s 24-hour waiting period to procure an abortion was unconstitutional. She also has represented two homosexual couples that challenged Florida’s marriage laws and has made comments equating voter restrictions for felons as a form of slavery.

Asked by The Daily Signal for comment about Abudu’s nomination, GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas remarked, “The Biden administration has nominated a partisan activist to a post rather than a sound-minded jurist.”

“Nancy Abudu’s extremist views permeate every facet of her career as she and the SPLC actively work to denounce and demean conservatives, religious organizations, and even sitting members of the Judiciary Committee,” he continued.

In April 2022, Cruz and fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley grilled the Ghanaian-born Abudu during a Senate hearing. Cruz asked her why the SPLC labeled him, Hawley, and Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee “white supremacists.” Abudu claimed she was unaware of the designation.

The SPLC has long been the target of intense criticism for its blatant targeting of conservatives. In 2012, a deranged gunman entered the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council and shot employee Leo Johnson, though he intended to kill many more. The man told police an SPLC “hate map” that identified the group by name is what motivated him to act. Globalist billionaire George Soros has funded the SPLC by giving it millions of dollars in past years. On LinkedIn, Abudu “liked” a post praising recipients of the Open Society Foundation’s 2021 Soros “Equity Fellows.”