Neomi Rao

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Neomi Rao
Neomi Rao (Official).jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Assumed office
March 18, 2019
Appointed byDonald Trump
Preceded byBrett Kavanaugh
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
In office
July 18, 2017 – March 18, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byHoward Shelanski
Personal details
Born
Neomi Jehangir Rao

(1973-03-22) March 22, 1973 (age 46)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S
Spouse(s)Alan Lefkowitz
EducationYale University (BA)
University of Chicago (JD)

Neomi Jehangir Rao (born March 22, 1973) is an American jurist and former academic and law professor who serves as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, appointed by President Donald Trump. She is a former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.[1]

Rao was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Indian immigrant parents. After graduating from Detroit Country Day School, she attended Yale University and then the University of Chicago Law School. She earned a one-year clerkship with Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court, then entered private practice as an associate at the British law firm Clifford Chance. She worked for the U.S. government during the latter half of George W. Bush's presidency, then became a professor of law at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. Her research and teaching focused on constitutional and administrative law, and she founded the school's Center for the Study of the Administrative State.[2]

Education and legal career[edit]

Rao was born in Detroit, Michigan, to mother Zerin Rao and father Jehangir Narioshang Rao, both Parsi physicians from India,[3] raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and was educated at Detroit Country Day School.[4] After graduating from high school, Rao attended Yale University, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in ethics, politics & economics, and philosophy with highest distinction. Rao then attended the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and graduated in 1999 with a Juris Doctor with highest honors. She was the comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy for the Symposium edition. Rao clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1999 to 2000, then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from 2001 to 2002.[5]

After her clerkships, she practiced public international law and arbitration at British law firm Clifford Chance in London, United Kingdom. During the second term of the presidency of George W. Bush, Rao worked in the White House counsel's office and as a staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[5] Later, she became a professor at George Mason University School of Law (subsequently renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School, a change she advocated),[5] where she received tenure in 2012. In 2015, she founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.[6][5]

She is a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and the governing council of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, where she co-chairs the section's regulatory policy committee.[1][7] She is a member of the Federalist Society.[8]

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator[edit]

On April 7, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Rao to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget. Former OIRA Administrator Susan Dudley (who served under President George W. Bush) described Rao as "an excellent choice to lead OIRA...In addition to a sharp legal mind, she brings an openness to different perspectives and an ability to manage the competing demands of regulatory policy."[9] Legal commentator and law professor Jonathan H. Adler wrote that "Trump's selection of Rao suggests the administration is serious about regulatory reform, not merely reducing high-profile regulatory burdens."[1] Rao was confirmed to the position by the United States Senate on July 10, 2017.[10]

Nomination to court of appeals[edit]

On November 13, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Rao to the seat Justice Brett Kavanaugh previously occupied on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[11] Her nomination was sent to the Senate later that day.[12] On January 3, 2019, her nomination was returned to the President under Rule XXXI, Paragraph 6, of the United States Senate. On January 23, 2019, President Trump announced his intent to renominate Rao for a federal judgeship.[13] Her nomination was sent to the Senate later that day.[14]

A hearing on her nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee was held on February 5, 2019. Rao was asked by several Senators about her college writings, some of which they viewed as sexual assault victim blaming. Rao responded that "A victim of a horrible crime is not to blame and the person who commits those crimes should be held responsible."[15] Democrats expressed concern that rules Rao worked to repeal in her role as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs could face legal challenges and wind up before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considered the second most powerful appeals court. Rao said she would "look carefully at the standards for recusal, consult with her colleagues and follow the precedent and practices of the D.C. Circuit."[15] On February 28, 2019, her nomination was reported out of committee by a 12–10 vote.[16] On March 13, 2019, the Senate voted to confirm Rao by a 53–46 vote. She received her judicial commission on March 18, 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Rao is married to Alan Lefkowitz, with whom she has two children.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Adler, Jonathan (April 7, 2017). "White House names Neomi Rao as next 'regulatory czar'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  2. ^ Waddell, Melanie (April 11, 2017). "Scalia Law's Neomi Rao Picked for Trump Regulatory Chief". National Law Journal. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Neomi Rao To Lead OIRA In US". Parsi Times. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "Alumni Class Notes" (PDF). Bee Hive, for Alumni, Friends and Family of Detroit Country Day School (Winter): 39. 2005. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Eder, Steve (2017-07-09). "Neomi Rao, the Scholar Who Will Help Lead Trump's Regulatory Overhaul". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  6. ^ Mufson, Steven (April 20, 2017). "Pick for rules czar would hand more power to Trump". Washington Post. washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Indian-American Neomi Rao nominated as Trump's regulatory czar". Deccan Chronicle. April 8, 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  8. ^ McDonald, Laughlin; Dudley, Susan E. (April 12, 2017). "President nominates Neomi Rao to head OIRA". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Devaney, Tim (April 7, 2017). "Trump nominates regulatory chief". The Hill. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ Siegel, Josh (July 10, 2017). "Senate confirms Neomi Rao to lead White House office overseeing regulations". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  11. ^ Gray, Noah (November 13, 2018). "Trump nominates Neomi Rao to replace Kavanaugh on DC Circuit". CNN. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Two Nominations Sent to the Senate". The White House. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  13. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Judicial Nominees", White House, January 23, 2019
  14. ^ "Nominations Sent to the Senate", White House, January 23, 2019
  15. ^ a b Homan, Timothy R. (February 5, 2019). "Trump's pick for Kavanaugh's old court seat grilled over date-rape comments". The Hill. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  16. ^ Results of Executive Business Meeting – February 28, 2019, Senate Judiciary Committee
  17. ^ "Hearing on the Nomination of Neomi Rao to be the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Statement of Neomi Rao" (PDF). United States Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. June 7, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.

Selected publications[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Howard Shelanski
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
2017–2019
Vacant
Preceded by
Brett Kavanaugh
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
2019–present
Incumbent