Indian-American Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on DC circuit appeals court, says Trump

United States President Donald Trump Tuesday announced his nomination for Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator to be Neomi Rao to fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the Washington Post reported.

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into office as the Supreme Court Justice in October after weeks of investigations and reports of three women having been allegedly sexually assaulted by him. Trump had called the claims made against Kavanaugh a “hoax” and “all made up”.

Trump made the announcement a day ahead of schedule during a Diwali ceremony at the White House that Rao attended. “I won’t say today that I just nominated Neomi to be on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the seat of Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” CNN quoted Trump as saying. “She’s going to be fantastic – great person.”

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is an agency within the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Rao is in favour of bringing independent agencies under the control of the White House and is a critic of the “administrative state”, the Washington Post reported. She has previously said the independence of federal agencies should be abolished and the heads of those agencies subject to dismissal by the president.

Rao has worked as associate professor of law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where she set up the Centre for the Study of the Administrative State. She graduated from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School and has previously worked as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ clerk and as associate counsel to former President George W Bush.

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