Neomi Rao is an anti-regulation attorney with no judicial experience. She couldn’t pass scrutiny the first time around and had to be re-nominated to fill Brett Kavanaugh’s vacated DC Circuit Court of Appeals seat, a court that reviews the legality of DC-based federal agencies’ decisions and policies. Like Wendy Vitter, she keeping quiet Brown v. Board as well as LGBTQ rights and marriage equality.
Her day job as the current director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is eroding the exact federal regulations she’d review as a Circuit Court judge. Under Rao, OIRA blocked new guidance on handling workplace sexual assault and approved a rule change restricting the definition of sexual assault on college campuses. OIRA approved rolling back protections against racist housing discrimination and terminating the Clean Power Plan. The office is also finalizing a policy allowing healthcare providers to deny care to LGBTQ+ patients.
Despite the conflict of interest between Rao’s current position and her potential judicial role, she has not promised to recuse herself from cases involving agency rules that she reviewed at OIRA. Rao also has a long history of attacking human rights, from her defense of the ableist practice of “dwarf-tossing” to college writings that blamed sexual assault survivors for being attacked and dismissed racial issues in America as a “hot, money-making issue”, which she now says she “regrets”.
We’re sure she does. Considering that the court she’s being considered for is a hot fishing spot for picking new SCOTUS members, and that she believes that presidents can overrule coequal branches of government, independent agencies should serve at his pleasure, and been been critical of the independent counsel statute, let’s not put her that close to power over all of us. Her anti-regulatory views and troubling disregard for basic human dignity disqualify her from sitting on one of our nation’s most important courts. That Justice Thomas is now working to help her nomination by speaking privately to GOP senators is another bad sign, along with her membership in the Federalist Society.
For more on the right-wing Federalist Society, go here.