by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If you were to design a perfect judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in a laboratory, that judge would look like Neomi Rao. The D.C. Circuit, the nation’s second most important court, is the leading court in which administrative-law decisions are made and one that has exclusive jurisdiction over many federal regulatory agencies. As it happens, Rao currently serves as an extraordinarily effective head of the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), from which she spearheads the Trump administration’s approach to regulatory policy. …
… Little surprise that, faced with the possibility of having a supremely qualified 45-year-old Indian-American woman in such a prominent position, D.C.’s left-wing groups are waging an all-out campaign to stop her nomination.
For this reason, the hit pieces came out early in an explicit political strategy, as noted in a recent article in Politico and elsewhere. Left-wing organizations such as People for the American Way accused Rao of having a “dangerously reactionary view of the Constitution,” while the hyperventilating NAACP called her nomination “an insult to all Americans,” inventing a nonexistent history of Rao’s supposed “years of vile comments against our most vulnerable communities” that seemed to focus particularly on Rao’s opposition to affirmative action and other race-based preferences.
Having little of substance to actually attack in Neomi’s professional career and legal writings, most of these shameless hit pieces target Rao’s student writings as a Yale undergraduate for various campus newspapers, ridiculously mischaracterizing them in the process and declaring her, inter alia, “an apologist for sexual assault.”