sunny.png
Monday July 15th, 2019 2:51PM

Senate confirms White House official Rao for appeals court

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on a high-profile appeals court, despite concerns about her past writings on sexual assault.

White House official Neomi Rao won confirmation to a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on a straight party-line vote, 53-46. No Republican opposed Rao, and no Democrat supported her.

Rao, 45, heads the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where she plays a key role in Trump's efforts to roll back federal rules and regulations. She also worked in the George W. Bush White House but has never tried a case in state or federal court.

Trump nominated Rao for the seat left vacant when Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court last fall.

Lawmakers from both parties expressed concerns about her past writings, particularly on date rape and other sexual assault. As a Yale undergraduate Rao suggested that intoxicated women were partly responsible for date rape. She also criticized affirmative action and questioned equal rights for women and gay people.

Rao has distanced herself from language she used as a college student, saying at her confirmation hearing that she cringes at some of the language she used in opinion articles she said were intended to be provocative.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who recently revealed she was raped in college, called Rao's 1990's opinion pieces "absolutely abhorrent and reprehensible at best," but said she was reassured after Rao wrote a letter to senators repudiating her past views.

Ernst and other Republicans said Rao was qualified despite her lack of courtroom experience. Rao's work on federal regulations qualifies her for the District of Columbia circuit, which handles many administrative appeals of executive branch actions, Ernst said. But she and other Republicans said they might view Rao differently if she is nominated to the Supreme Court.

Rao, widely seen as a future candidate for the high court, is a member of the conservative Federalist Society. The legal policy group has played a key role in Trump's judicial nominations, including Kavanaugh's elevation to the high court.

Democrats staunchly opposed Rao, citing her lack of trial experience and publicly stated pride at rolling back federal rules on Trump's behalf. Rao said at her confirmation hearing that she and Trump have successfully pushed deregulation that "gets government out of the way" and helps small businesses and other companies create jobs.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Rao "an outstanding choice" to serve on the District of Columbia Circuit, widely considered the nation's second-most important federal court, below only the Supreme Court.

"She is an expert on administrative law and has a sound, conservative judicial philosophy that one would expect from a Republican nominee for such an important position," Graham said.

But California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel's top Democrat, said Rao has a "troubling and aggressive record" on deregulation, particularly on rules that protect health and the environment.

As head of the regulatory office, Rao "has taken a buzz saw to protections for women's health and for sexual assault victims on college campuses," added Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat, said Rao has "minimal practical experience in the law" and legal views that are "beyond extreme."

Addressing Trump from the Senate floor, Durbin asked: "Isn't there a good Republican conservative somewhere who's actually been in a courtroom, actually made an appearance in a case, maybe even tried a case or filed a motion and would know a courthouse if they saw it and on not on TV? Is that too much to ask for a lifetime appointment to the second-highest court in the land?"

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Iditarod winner's journey began as a boy racing sled dogs
Pete Kaiser has become the latest Alaska Native to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
6:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
OMG, OBJ: Beckham's arrival makes Browns instant contenders
Trading places: Beckham's arrival boosts Browns from clowns to contenders
6:03PM ( 13 minutes ago )
'He's shady': Ringleader in college scandal irritated others
'He's shady, be careful.' There were early concerns and warnings about man at center of college admissions scandal.
6:03PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Senate GOP effort on Trump border wall seems to crash
A late Republican effort to prevent President Donald Trump from an awkward Senate defeat over his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border seems to be collapsing
5:33PM ( 43 minutes ago )
US grounding of Boeing jet shows limits of company's clout
Trump administration's decision to follow other countries and ground Boeing 737 Max 8s illustrates the limits of the company's clout
5:32PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Senate GOP effort on Trump border wall seems to fall short
A late Republican effort to prevent President Donald Trump from an awkward Senate defeat over his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border seems to be collapsing
4:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Bipartisanship in 2020? Not so fast, some Democrats say
Running on bipartisanship in 2020? Not so fast, some Democrats say
3:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: British lawmakers reject leaving EU with no deal
Britain's Parliament has voted to reject having the country leave the European Union without a divorce agreement, a decision that lessens but does not remove the chance of a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit
3:25PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump warns GOP senators ahead of border vote
President Donald Trump says he is telling Republican senators to vote how they "feel good" on a resolution opposing his national emergency declaration for border wall funding
3:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Schultz to preview his vision for an independent presidency
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is set to further explain his vision for an independent presidency outside the two-party system in a speech at Florida's Miami Dade College
7:03AM ( 11 hours ago )
Senate backs Trump court nominee over home-state objections
The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee for a Philadelphia-based appeals court, despite opposition from the nominee's two home-state senators
6:49PM ( 23 hours ago )
Texas governor fills courts with GOP judges voters rejected
Gov. Greg Abbott has quietly been stocking Texas courts with Republican judges freshly rejected by voters, employing one of the strongest powers of his office to stem the erosion of the GOP's decades-long dominance in the state.
3:27PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
The Latest: Parent with 'unlimited resources' gets bail
A former top investment manager has appeared in court on charges of paying bribes to get three of his children into top universities as part of a widespread admissions bribery scandal
5:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
Big tech companies cast as monopolies in UK government study
UK review of digital competition urges new rules to deal with power of tech giants
5:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Alaska poised to let people use marijuana at certain stores
Alaska is poised to become the first state in the nation with statewide rules allowing people to use marijuana at certain stores where they buy it.
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Iditarod winner's journey began as a boy racing sled dogs
Pete Kaiser has become the latest Alaska Native to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
6:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
OMG, OBJ: Beckham's arrival makes Browns instant contenders
Trading places: Beckham's arrival boosts Browns from clowns to contenders
6:03PM ( 13 minutes ago )
'He's shady': Ringleader in college scandal irritated others
'He's shady, be careful.' There were early concerns and warnings about man at center of college admissions scandal.
6:03PM ( 13 minutes ago )
US, Canada ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after Ethiopia crash
US, Canada ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after Ethiopia crash, citing possible similarities with previous crash involving the model
5:53PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Experts doubt turbulence caused crash of cargo jet in Texas
Aviation experts say they doubt turbulence could have brought down a cargo jet that crashed into a Texas bay in February, speculating that human error or a massive malfunction are more likely culprits
5:44PM ( 32 minutes ago )