Indian-American Neomi Rao to Replace Kavanaugh on DC Circuit CourtTop Stories

November 14, 2018 12:14
Indian-American Neomi Rao to Replace Kavanaugh on DC Circuit Court

(Image source from: The Hindu)

An Indian-American Neomi Rao has been nominated to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, said President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

However, a formal statement in this regard is expected to be made by the White House on Wednesday.

"She is going to be fantastic. Great person," he said.

The powerful United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is considered next to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I just nominated Naomi to be on the DC circuit court of appeals, the seat of justice Brett Kavanaugh. That could be a big story," Trump proclaimed during the White House Diwali celebrations on Tuesday.

Rao thanks the president for the "confidence" he has shown in her by nominating her to the powerful U.S. court.

If made official by the Senate, the 45-year-old Rao would be the second Indian-American judge after Sree Srinivasan on the DC Circuit, which has legal power over important regulatory, national security, and separation of powers questions.

Currently, Rao is the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

Related content: Trump Interviews Indian Descent Woman to Supplant Kavanaugh

Trump made the announcement at the White House Diwali celebrations in the presence of his top Indian-American officials and Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Singh Sarna.

Named the 'regulatory czar' of Trump administration in her current capacity, she supervises carrying out of the Administration's deregulatory agenda and regulation-related executive orders.

She was confirmed by the Senate with a 54-41 vote in July 2017 to head the OIRA and is known among legal circles as an extremely respected administrative law scholar who has distinguished herself for her right-of-center views, media reports stated.

An erstwhile clerk for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rao was recommended for the position by former White House counsel Don McGahn. Trump's nomination of Rao is in acknowledgment of her contribution in reducing regulations.

Earlier, Rao has served in all three branches of the federal government, and before taking on her present-day role in the executive branch, she was associate counsel and special assistant to the president for the George W Bush administration.

She has been best-known for advancing the separation of powers in the three branches of government.

Before joining the Trump administration in July 2017, Rao taught at GMU (George Mason University) as an associate law professor, where she as well founded and directed the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, Rao also employed in the private sector, in the international arbitration group of the London-based law firm, Clifford Chance LLP.

Born to Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang Rao, both Parsi physicians from India, Rao grew up in Michigan and did her education from Detroit High School. She is married to Alan Lefkowitz and the couple has two children.

-Sowmya Sangam

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