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Special-interest coalition opposes Meese nomination

For the first time since the Nixon administration, a key coalition of civil and women's rights groups Thursday challenged a Cabinet nomination and called for the rejection of Edwin Meese III as attorney general.

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The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, an umbrella organization of 160 special-interest groups, urged the Senate not to confirm Mr. Meese because it fears he will not ''vigorously and objectively enforce our nation's civil rights laws.''

''He represented the radical right in the White House, and we do not want him to represent the radical right in the Department of Justice,'' Ralph Neas, the conference's executive director, said at a news conference.

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