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BuzzFeed Unearths Controversy Over Trump's DC Cir. Pick

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 17, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Neomi Rao, a nominee for the DC Court of Appeals, should have seen it coming.

During her college days, she wrote articles about date rape and feminism that have come back to haunt her. They escaped scrutiny when she was appointed to her current government job.

But as fate would have it, now she is looking at the same job vacated by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. After all, who can forget what "boofing" and the "devil's triangle" mean in confirmation-speak?

"Stay Reasonably Sober"

Nan Aron, president of the advocacy group Alliance for Justice, dug up Rao's inflammatory articles. Aron told BuzzFeed they are "consistent with the administration's support of candidates who make racially insensitive statements and comments hostile to sexual assault survivors."

Rao wrote that welfare recipients were "lazy," that affirmative action was "the anointed dragon of liberal excess," and that race was "a hot money-making issue." As a Yale student, she took on "feminists in women's studies programs" who wanted to replace "male rationality" with more sensitive responses common to women.

"It may be kinder and gentler, but can you build a bridge with it?" she posed.

She really stepped into it with date rape victims, however, when she suggested "a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober."

Never Been a Judge

Rao is the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The Senate confirmed her for that position in 2017, largely along party lines.

She previously worked in the Office of the White House Counsel and for the Senate Judiciary Committee. She has never been a judge, but is recognized for her legal intellect.

Kerri Kupec, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said Rao's articles were "intentionally provocative." She said Rao would make "an exemplary judge."

The DC Circuit is considered a prime launch pad to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Trump has Rao on his short list of potential nominees to the High Court.

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