Rao & Bounds: Similar Statements Demand Same Scrutiny


On July 19, 2017, Republican Senators Tim Scott and Marco Rubio made clear to Senate leadership they could not support Ryan Bounds’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit; and the White House withdrew his nomination. Ryan Bounds’s record was replete with offensive writings from college about people of color, rape survivors, LGBTQ Americans and others – material he had hidden from Oregon’s judicial selection commission.  After reviewing the writings, and evaluating Bounds’s purported apology, it was reported that Scott and Rubio “would oppose him over racially-charged writings in [Bounds’s] record.”

Like Ryan Bounds, Neomi Rao, whom President Trump has nominated for a seat on the D.C. Circuit, has “racially-charged writings” from her twenties; writings which also blame sexual assault survivors and demean LGBTQ Americans.  As demonstrated below, the language she used is eerily similar to the language Republican senators found offensive in Bounds’s record.

Days after Bounds’s writings became public and three months before his hearing, Bounds attempted to apologize, calling his college writings “ill considered, tone-deaf, and mortifyingly insensitive pronouncements of one’s youth.”  In contrast, after Rao’s writings became public, a Justice Department spokesperson defended them, calling them “intentionally provocative.”  At her hearing, Rao did not disavow her writings, although she labeled some of them “cringeworthy.”  Not until February 11th, 28 days after her writings first went viral and nearly a week after her hearing, did Rao attempt to apologize for what she wrote – but only for a small number of her statements regarding sexual assault, and not for those involving race or LGBTQ rights or for the harmful and discriminatory policies she has helped advance in her current government position as the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

The bottom line is this:  If Tim Scott and Marco Rubio found Bounds’s writings too objectionable to confirm him to a lifetime seat on the federal bench, then they must find Rao’s writings – which again are nearly identical – also disqualifying.  As Tim Scott wrote, “we should stop bringing candidates with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote.”


“The multiculturalists are not simply after political reform. Underneath their touchy-feely talk of tolerance, they seek to undermine American culture. They argue that culture, society and politics have been defined – and presumably defiled – by white, male heterosexuals hostile to their way of life. For example, homosexuals want to redefine marriage and parenthood; feminists in women’s studies programs want to replace so-called male rationality with more sensitive responses common to womyn [sic]. It may be kinder and gentler, but can you build a bridge with it?”– Neomi RaoHow the Diversity Game is Played,” Washington Times, July 17, 1994

I submit that the Multiculturalistas, when they divide up by race for their feel-good ethnic hoedowns, engage in nearly all of [the fundamental behaviors of group think].” — Ryan BoundsRace-Think: A Stanford Phenomenon?” February 27, 1995

“During my years in our Multicultural Garden of Eden, I have often marveled at the odd strategies that some of the more strident racial factions of the student body employ in their attempts to ‘heighten consciousness,’ ‘build tolerance,’ ‘promote diversity,’ and otherwise convince us to partake of that fruit which promises to open our eyes to a PC version of the knowledge of good and evil.  I am mystified because these tactics seem always to contribute more to restricting consciousness, aggravating intolerance, and pigeonholing cultural identities than many a Nazi bookburning.”— Ryan BoundsRace-Think: A Stanford Phenomenon?” February 27, 1995

“Over the past decades, Yale has dedicated itself to a relatively firm meritocracy, which drops its standards only for a few minorities, some legacies and a football player here or there.” — Neomi RaoVive la Différence!” February/March 1995

Race may be a hot, money-making issue, but even [Cornel] West seems to realize that it can be talked to death.” — Neomi RaoThe Hottest Duo in Academe,” April 22, 1996

“Those who reject their assigned categories are called namesSo-called conforming blacks are called ‘oreos’ by members of their own community, conservatives become ‘fascists.’ Preaching tolerance, multiculturalists seldom practice it.” – Neomi Rao, “How the Diversity Game is Played,” Washington Times, July 17, 1994

If a black person is an individualist and a thoroughgoing capitalist who eschews victimhood status and its concomitant entitlements, race-thinkers are quick to brand him ‘oreo,’ ‘Uncle Tom,’ or ‘sell-out.’” – Ryan BoundsRace-Think: A Stanford Phenomenon?” February 27, 1995


“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 part of her choice.” – Neomi RaoShades of Gray,” The Yale Herald, October 14, 1994

But there is really nothing inherently wrong with the University failing to punish an alleged rapist—regardless of his guilt—in the absence of adequate certainty, there is nothing that the University can do to objectively ensure that the rapist does not strike again.” And, “[e]xpelling students is probably not going to contribute a great deal toward a rape victim’s recovery; there is no moral imperative to risk egregious error in doing so.” – Ryan BoundsReasonable Doubts?” October 17, 1994


“Homosexual activism in its most visible form engages mainstream society in a total cultural challenge. The ‘promotion of queer expression’ comes in the form of explicitly sexual printed material, as well as national rallies and marches. In other, more grassroots forms, gays try to educate people about homosexuality by fighting to include books such as Heather Has Two Mommies in the required-reading lists of elementary school teachers.” – Neomi RaoQueer Politics,” The Yale Herald, November 11, 1994

“Perhaps all of this is true, but the castigation of athletes and frat boys for flagrantly anti-homosexual prejudices is predicated on a motivation for this vandalism that has not been articulated. Results?  The vandals might face hate-crime charges, fraternity members— regardless of their individually demonstrated prejudices (or, for that matter, sexual orientation)—face mandatory Sensitivity training, the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community Center receives $10,000 from funds the university ostensibly does not have, and Sensitivity insinuates itself a little further into the fissures of our community.”— Ryan Bounds, “Lo! A Pestilence Stalks Us,” October 10, 1994