Neomi Rao is Trump’s appointee
for a lifetime judicial appointment.
But she’s not fit for the federal bench.

President Trump nominated Neomi Rao for a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit Court). This was the seat previously held by Brett Kavanaugh, and is considered a fast track to the Supreme Court. Can Rao be a fair and impartial judge, or is she too closely aligned with Trump’s views? Consider:

  1. Rao is currently Trump’s “deregulatory czar at the helm of a federal office which reviews and implements regulations that affect all Americans. Since 2017, Rao’s been busy killing the public protections that safeguard the environment and preserve the rights of women, consumers, and communities of color. She’s censored climate change language and gutted an effort to close the racial and gender pay gap.

  1. Rao has a long history of alarming viewpoints on sexual assault, multiculturalism, LGBTQ rights, and people with disabilities - and she hasn’t publicly retracted them. Her stances resemble the type of rhetoric we have heard from Trump over the years.

On February 5th, the U.S. Senate will finally get a chance to get Rao on the record.

Ask your Senators to ask the tough questions, and to stop Rao.

1. Who is Neomi Rao?


Political Campaigns

Judicial Experience

2. What does Neomi Rao stand for?

Neomi Rao’s writings during her undergraduate days and after contain alarming viewpoints. She has not publicly retracted them. Here are a few:

Neomi Rao on diversity

“The multiculturalists are not simply after political reform. Underneath their touchy-feely talk, they seek to undermine American culture.”
“How the Diversity Game is Played”, Washington Times, 1994

Neomi Rao on sexual assault:

“Unless someone made her drinks undetectably strong or forced them down her throat, a woman, like a man, decides when and how much to drink. And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was her choice.
“Shades of Gray”, The Yale Herald, 1994

Neomi Rao on people with disabilities:

Rao has written that bans on “dwarf tossing” (the practice of tossing little people at walls) violate the individual dignity of little people. While this might sound like an argument in favor of freedom of choice, Rao’s critics have noted that she ignores society's interests in preventing harm to people participating as well as others by regulating such activities.
“Substantive Dignity-Dwarf-throwing, Burqa Bans, and Welfare Rights”, Volokh Conspiracy, 2011

3. Neomi Rao in the press

4. What can we do?

5. Reactions to Neomi Rao’s Nomination

“What we know of Neomi Rao’s record makes perfectly clear that she is unfit to serve as a fair and impartial judge. Recently discovered writings by Rao contradict the foundational values upon which our country is built. She has demonstrated hostility toward racial and gender equality, sexual assault survivors, LGBTQ rights. and the dire need to address climate change. This should immediately disqualify her from a lifetime position on the federal bench. Senators must reject her nomination as part of their independent responsibility to protect civil and human rights for all.” (Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights)

As a South Asian American woman and lawyer, I believe in a diverse judiciary. But Neomi Rao’s record is extremely problematic. Rao is the head of a federal office that seeks to remove regulations that protect the environment, women’s safety and health, and civil rights. In Yale’s school paper, she wrote that ‘multiculturalism undermines American culture’ and that ‘women should accept the consequences of their sexuality’ in connection with date rape. Now, she’s up for a lifetime judgeship on a circuit court that is widely considered to be a feeder to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rao doesn’t belong on the federal bench.”

(Deepa Iyer, Author, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future; former executive director, South Asian Americans Leading Together)

“As head of OIRA, Neomi Rao has been the point person for the Trump Administration’s radical deregulatory attack on safeguards that protect the public. She has approved hundreds of regulatory rollbacks that repeal protections for the environment, consumers, workers, children, women, immigrants, and minorities. At every turn, Rao has chosen to protect corporate profits instead of hard working Americans and their families. While Public Citizen does not take positions on judicial nominations, Rao’s record at OIRA gutting public health, safety, and economic security protections for Americans speaks for itself.” (Amit Narang, Regulatory Policy Advocate, Public Citizen)

“As a South Asian American women and attorney who advocates for the rights of survivors of gender-based violence in our communities and schools, I am deeply concerned about Neomi Rao, who has a troubling record dating back to college with her rape apologist writings. At OIRA, Rao played a role in the Trump Administration’s rollback of civil rights protections for survivors of sexual violence in schools under Title IX by attempting to reduce liability for schools that fail to address sexual harassment adequately and create procedures that would deny survivors a fair process. The National Women’s Law Center is concerned about her nomination as Rao’s record suggests that she would be a problematic jurist who would further weaken civil rights protections.” (Shiwali Patel, Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center)

"Neomi Rao wants to turn back the hands of time and will serve the powerful and elite, rather than the silenced and excluded. She has shamed victims of date rape, denied climate change, mocked multiculturalism and inclusion, and argued that racial and sexual oppression are mythological. As regulatory czar, she has endangered civil rights, health, safety and environmental public protections, putting us all at risk. Rao is absolutely unfit to serve as a federal judge and her nomination must be opposed." (Arjun Singh Sethi, Author, American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University)