Yes, Neomi Rao’s Controversial Writings Are Consistent with Her Work Today

Press Release

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Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30, 2019 – Alliance for Justice’s research into the record of Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee for the seat formerly held by Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, reveals that as the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Trump Administration, her work has been consistent with dangerous and extreme views she expressed earlier in her career.  AFJ today posted a summary of these findings, as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to hold a confirmation hearing for Rao on February 5.  AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:

“Neomi Rao’s supporters like to say that some of her writings on sexual assault, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice are irrelevant because she wrote them in her twenties. But Rao’s work today shows there has been no evolution or maturing of her narrow-minded views.  It’s no coincidence that the federal government office she heads is signing off on policies that harm some of our society’s most vulnerable — including the proposal to roll back Title IX protections for survivors of campus sexual assault.  It’s critically important that senators and the public understand that Neomi Rao is exactly the same person today that she was years ago, and that her views are disqualifying for the federal bench.”

Among other things, the AFJ findings show that under Rao’s leadership, OIRA has taken steps including:

  •  Rolling back Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors on campus through a proposed rule changeand blocking the issuance of vital sexual harassment guidance for employers to implement in the workplace.  (Rao has writings suggesting that sexual assault survivors bear responsibility for their attacks.)
  • Working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to roll back protections against housing discrimination based on race.  (Rao has written that Yale “drop[ped] its standards” to “admit a few minorities.”)
  • Finalizing a new policy proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services that would allow health care providers to refuse to provide medical care to patients toward whom providers might have “conscientious objections” – in other words, LGBTQ patients and women seeking reproductive care. (Rao has writings that disparage “homosexual activism” and the “promotion of queer expression.”)
  • Approving a proposal to rescind the Clean Power Plan, a public protection program  that reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and supporting the weakening of public protections against mercury pollution. (Rao’s writings have bashed environmental activism as “eco-insanity.”)

Read the AFJ summary here.