On November 14, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Neomi J. Rao to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. On February 5, 2019, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for Rao and subsequently voted her out of committee on February 28, 2019. Ultimately, the Senate confirmed her on March 13, 2019 on a party-line vote.
Constitutional Accountability Center scrutinized Rao’s record and testimony closely and found that they both demonstrate her disregard for settled legal rules and protections. She would likely jettison major aspects of the so-called administrative state and give the courts new power to second-guess agency action. Moreover, while she grounds her views on the administrative state in her commitment to liberty, her record is in many respects hostile to the protection of individual liberty and dignity, which have long been safeguarded by Supreme Court precedent protecting the rights of women and LGBTQ persons. Her record suggests she will not be faithful to the Constitution’s text, history, and values, or longstanding Supreme Court precedent. As a result of her record and testimony at her confirmation hearing, CAC opposed her confirmation on February 11, 2019.
Below is a sampling of CAC’s work examining Neomi Rao’s record.