Report: Neomi Rao

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

As head of Trump's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Rao turned back the clock on public protections and safety standards for vulnerable Americans.

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From the Alliance for Justice:

Rao described “the greenhouse effect, the depleting ozone layer, and the dangers of acid rain” as “[t]he three major environmental bogeymen.” She criticized environmental groups at Yale for “accept[ing] issues such as global warming as truth with no reference to the prevailing scientific doubts.”

Rao bashed environmental groups for “promot[ing] a dangerous orthodoxy that includes the unquestioning acceptance of controversial theories like the greenhouse effect.”

Describing environmental activism on college campuses, Rao explained, “These are just a few examples of eco-insanity on college campuses. But funny as they may be, environmental hysteria in the university has dangerous implications for the real world.”

Claiming environmentalists want to force people to “live up to their standards of environmental purity,” Rao cautioned that “they seem perfectly comfortable discarding scientific evidence and common sense in their crusade to ‘save’ the Earth.”

From the Alliance for Justice:

“Neomi Rao’s record of offensive statements about women, sexual assault survivors, LGBTQ people, people of color and the environment is matched only by her track record of advancing federal government policies that are deeply harmful to these same communities and interests.  It only makes matters worse that she is being named to the nation’s second-highest court and to the seat once held by Brett Kavanaugh, who has faced credible allegations of sexual abuse. Senators should understand that a vote to confirm Neomi Rao is a slap in the face to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Among other things, the AFJ report finds:

Rao’s writings blaming sexual assault on survivors, rather than perpetrators, foreshadow her work as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a government office that is taking a major role in rolling back Title IX protections for survivors of campus sexual assault.

Rao has criticized the Violence Against Women Act, calling it a “grandstanding” statute.

Rao wrote critically about women’s full participation in society, stating that “in exchange for access into the working world and sexual freedom, women have lost much of the previous caring and affection of men.”

At OIRA, Rao halted a data-collection program designed to gather information on the pay disparity between genders, as a step toward remedying it.

From Mother Jones:

Neomi Rao, whom President Donald Trump nominated to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the federal bench and who’s reportedly on the president’s Supreme Court short list, wrote in the 1990s that victims of date rape were partly responsible if they’d been drinking. In a series of controversial articles for Yale University campus papers, she also suggested that climate change wasn’t real and argued that sexual and racial oppression were “myths.”

The 45-year-old Rao, who currently serves as Trump’s deregulatory czar as administrator of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), started her campus journalism career at the Yale Free Press, a publication that describes itself as “somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.” It was founded by the son of the late Robert Bork, the judge whose radically conservative views tanked his 1987 Supreme Court nomination. After graduation, she went to work as a reporter for the now-defunct conservative Weekly Standard before heading off to law school.


She denounced multiculturalism as a divisive force and wrote a number of articles complaining about the existence of ethnic cultural houses on the Yale campus. In one piece she wrote, headlined “Separate, But More Than Equal,” Rao and a co-author suggested that minority students were getting an unfair advantage by having special deans devoted to helping them. The notion that racism and sexism are no longer big social problems permeated Rao’s writing. In one piece in the Free Press headlined “Submission, Silence, Mediocracy,” she wrote, “Myths of sexual and racial oppression propogate [sic] themselves, create hysteria and finally lead to the formation of some whining new group. One can only hope to scream, ‘Perspective, just a little perspective, dahling!'”

From Buzzfeed:

In pieces reviewed by BuzzFeed News that Rao wrote between 1994 and 1996 — she graduated from Yale University in 1995 — she described race as a “hot, money-making issue,” affirmative action as the “anointed dragon of liberal excess,” welfare as being for “for the indigent and lazy,” and LGBT issues as part of “trendy” political movements. On date rape, Rao wrote that if a woman “drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice.”


In a July 1994 piece for the Washington Times denouncing “multiculturalists” on campus Rao wrote that, “Underneath their touchy-feely talk of tolerance, they seek to undermine American culture.”


In a 1995 book review in the Yale Free Press about a book called “In Defense of Elitism,” Rao wrote that, “In this age of affirmative action, women’s rights, special rights for the handicapped and welfare for the indigent and lazy, elitism is a forgotten and embarrassing concept.” Rao agreed with some of the author's sentiments in support of elitism, writing that many of the book's criticisms of egalitarianism “ring true.” Later in the piece, Rao praised the author’s arguments “against the shoddy standards of feminist scholarship, which attempts to fabricate a rich history of female work where none exists.”

#RFingTheCourts #WhitewashingTheBench

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