- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

President Trump announced Tuesday his intent to renominate 51 of his judicial nominees, who didn’t see confirmation votes during the last Congress and whose nominations had expired at the end of last year.

Out of the 51 picks for the federal bench, nine were for federal circuit court vacancies including Neomi J. Rao, who was tapped to fill Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s old seat on the D.C. Circuit.

Liberal groups have already vowed to oppose her nomination.

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Ms. Rao, who works in the White House budget office, came under scrutiny after several news outlets reported earlier this month about college writings in which she defended white men, suggested intoxicated women are partly to blame for sexual assaults and said LGBTQ issues were “trendy” political movements.

“I hope this episode serves as a reminder to the entire Trump administration that we are not a ‘choice,’ we are not a ‘trend,’ and the LGBT community deserves judges who will treat them with respect,” said Sharon McGowan, legal director at the pro-LGBTQ Lambda Legal.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, said the attacks against Ms. Rao are “absurd,” adding she’s extremely qualified for the federal judgeship.

“She’s an accomplished professional lawyer who has served in two administrations at high levels, she’s been an assistant professor of law and she clerked for Justice [Clarence] Thomas at the Supreme Court. Further, she is a national expert on administrative law and that’s the most important part of the D.C. Circuit docket, so her qualifications are unparalleled,” Ms. Severino said.

In addition to Ms. Rao, other federal appeals court picks include: Allison Jones Rushing for the 4th Circuit, Chad A. Readler for the 6th Circuit, Michael H. Park for the 2nd Circuit, Eric E. Murphy for the 6th Circuit, Eric D. Miller for the 9th Circuit, Paul B. Matey for the 3rd Circuit, Joseph F. Bianco for the 2nd Circuit and Bridget S. Bade for the 9th Circuit.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, praised the president’s picks.

“The committee will immediately begin working on these important nominations and trying to confirm as many as possible, as soon as possible,” Mr. Graham said in a statement Wednesday.

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