Senate: Confirm Neomi Rao for D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Senate: Confirm Neomi Rao for D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Among the many victories President Trump has given conservatives, his success in reforming the federal judiciary through judicial appointments will be among the most meaningful and lasting elements of his legacy.  One of the President’s top judicial picks, former law professor Neomi Rao, is now awaiting confirmation to replace Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. She should be quickly confirmed.

Ms. Rao was born in Detroit, a child of Indian immigrants. She completed her undergraduate education at Yale, graduating cum laude. After a brief stint as a reporter with the Weekly Standard, Ms. Rao attended University of Chicago Law School, where she was an Editor of the Law Review and graduated in 1999 with high honors and as a member of the Order of the Coif, a legal honor society.

Following law school, Ms. Rao was awarded prestigious clerkships at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with prominent Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, III and at the United States Supreme Court with Justice Clarence Thomas. She later served as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and from 2005 to 2006 as Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. 

In 2006 Ms. Rao joined the faculty at the George Mason University Law School, where she distinguished herself as a legal scholar with a focus on administrative law. She founded and was the first director of the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and was a driving force behind George Mason’s 2016 decision to name its law school after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Ms. Rao has published over a dozen scholarly papers in law reviews, written opinion articles in prominent publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. In addition, she has appeared on major media outlets such as Bloomberg, NPR , PBS News Hour, and C-Span.

Since 2017 Ms. Rao has served as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the White House, a position for which she was endorsed by a bipartisan group of eight former administrators. As "Regulatory Czar" she has led the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back hundreds of outdated, ineffective and burdensome regulations, eliminating more than $23 billion in needless regulatory costs in 2018, thereby playing an integral role in ushering in the rapid economic growth we are now experiencing.

Typical of the take-no-prisoners environment that is present day Washington, D.C., Ms. Rao's political and ideological opponents have attempted to impugn her suitability for the bench by mischaracterizing and even lying about twenty-five-year old writings from her undergraduate time at Yale. As with the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh whose Court of Appeals seat Ms. Rao has been nominated to fill, we cannot allow scorched earth from far-left agitators to prevail.

Neomi Rao's scholarly expertise in administrative and regulatory law, broad governmental experience, and highly regarded tenure at OIRA make her a stellar choice for the D.C. Circuit, which hears more appeals from administrative agencies than any other appellate court in the nation. The Senate should act rapidly on her nomination.

Roger D. Klein M.D. J.D. is a physician and attorney. He is a member of the Regulatory Transparency Project’s FDA and Health Working Group and a former advisor to the FDA and HHS. Dr. Klein is a faculty fellow in the Center for Law, Science and Innovation at the Sandra Day O’Connor Law School at Arizona State University and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Liberty and Law Center at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. He graduated from Yale Law School and completed his postgraduate medical training at Yale Medical School.

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