While we celebrate the passage of
historic gun safety legislation and intently watched the Michael Cohen hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Neomi Rao to the seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the seat formerly held by Brett Kavanaugh.
The D.C. Circuit is the second most important court in the nation after the Supreme Court. It has the sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers of the branches of government and regulatory issues.
More U.S. Supreme Court justices have come from the D.C. Circuit than any other court in the country.
Rao currently serves as an administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. She oversees the work of an office that is
actively rolling back health and safety regulations, Title IX and climate protections. Trump is nominating her to do the same from the bench.
Her statement on her views on sexual assault is extremely troubling. Rao has blamed sexual assault on survivors. "At the same time, a good way to avoid potential rape is to stay sober," wrote Rao. She has also
criticized the Violence Against Women Act, calling it a "grandstanding" statute.
Trump again shows his
blindness to the seriousness of sexual assault by appointing someone like Roa, who shares the same insensitivity to this grave problem as Kavanaugh.
Currently there are
121 vacancies on the lower courts with 40 pending nominations. Trump has already appointed more than six dozen new judges who will serve for life. These are vacancies that were actively blocked by the GOP under Obama's administration.
Our federal judges protect the Constitution and help ensure that all Americans are protected equally under the law. These judges rule on women's reproductive rights, health care, environmental protections, national security, religious freedom and many other issues that touch our daily lives.
Their decisions have grave consequences for generations to come.
Lower courts hear 50,000 cases a year compared to the Supreme Court which hears around 80 cases yearly. Lower courts matter.
CALL YOUR SENATORS (202-224-3121). Urge them to vote no on Rao and other nominees who are extreme and unqualified.
Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.