Trump to Renominate 51 Expired Judicial Nominees, Including Neomi RaoJanuary 23, 2019 14:32
(Image source from: India Abroad)
President Donald Trump on Tuesday re-sent a list of 51 judicial nominees including an Indian American nominee Neomi Rao, who is under criticism for her earlier writings in which she to a certain extent blamed women victims of date-rape, describing race as a “hot, money-making issue” and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) issues as “trendy”.
Currently serving as Trump’s deregulation czar in the Office of Management and Budget, Rao was nominated to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC court of appeals in November earlier this year but her nomination with hundreds of others expired with the last Congress.
In wake of her controversial writings that had surfaced since her nomination, questions were raised if she would be re-nominated.
Rao’s nomination is pulling close scrutiny as well since some reports have indicated that she has been added to the White House’s list of potential nominees for the Supreme Court, if and when a slot falls vacant on the nine-member bench.
Her writings go back for the most part to her days at Yale and the Weekly Standard, that was closed recently. A list of these articles was compiled by a liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice (AFJ) and distributed to news publications earlier this week.
In an article in the Standard in 1996, Rao wrote critically about two African American scholars and said they “position themselves above the corporate hype. Race may be a hot, money-making issue, but even … (one of the two men) seems to realize that it can be talked to death”.
In a 1994 article in the Yale Herald, Rao wrote that men accused of raping a drunk woman must be prosecuted, “a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.”
“And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice,” Rao wrote. “Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does strips women of all moral responsibility.”
Also in the Yale Herald, she wrote in 1994 while commenting on a rift between LGTB groups on the campus, that “Trendy political movements have only recently added sexuality to the standard checklist of traits requiring tolerance.”
Alliance for Justice president Nan Aron has questioned Rao’s nomination to the DC circuit saying it is “second in importance only to the U.S. Supreme Court (and the nomination) appears to be entirely consistent with this administration’s stated goal of using the justice system to eviscerate a whole host of legal protections for Americans”.
But the department of justice has defended Rao, saying she was being “intentionally provocative” in those writing.
“Neomi Rao is a renowned constitutional and administrative law expert. That is why the President nominated her to the DC Circuit. The views she expressed a quarter century ago as a college student writing for her student newspaper were intentionally provocative, designed to raise questions and push back against liberal elitism that dominated her campus at the time,” a spokesperson told BuzzFeed.
“More than two decades later, her views can be found in her numerous academic articles and speeches. We are confident Ms. Rao will make an exemplary judge on the DC Circuit,” the spokesperson added.
But the arguably college writings can cause a fuss. One of Trump’s judicial nominees was forced to withdraw his nomination earlier this year over an article written by him in college.