Indian American named for key Appeals Court post

Neomi Rao is a proponent of small govt.

Updated - November 15, 2018 01:25 pm IST

Published - November 14, 2018 08:45 am IST - Washington

A file picture of Neomi Rao (centre).

A file picture of Neomi Rao (centre).

Indian American Neomi Rao, 45, has been appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy created by Brett Kavanaugh’s elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Donald Trump made an unscheduled announcement regarding Ms. Rao’s nomination at the White House’s diya (lamp) lighting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, as part of the administration’s Deepavali celebrations. Ms. Rao is currently the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House, which assesses the costs and benefits of government regulations.

“We were going to announce that tomorrow and I said you know, ‘Here we are Neomi, we’re never going to do better than this’,” Mr. Trump said, standing among officials from the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, including Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna.

A powerful court

Ms. Rao, born to parents from India, is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. If confirmed, she will sit on what is considered the second most powerful court in the country.

Apart from Justice Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas are the Supreme Court judges to have served on the DC Court of Appeals.

Just like a significant proportion of Trump-appointed officials, Ms. Rao clerked for Justice Thomas, the most conservative of the Supreme Court Justices. She is a speaker at The Federalist Society, an organisation that promotes conservative and libertarian legal thinking and which played a key role in promoting the candidacy of Justice Kavanaugh.

She is a proponent of deregulation and small government. and founded the Centre for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University, an institute that has benefited from funds donated by the conservative Koch brothers.

Ms. Rao’s appointment will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.