Feb 6. The judicial wars returned to Washington on
Tuesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee met to consider Neomi Rao,
President Donald Trump’s nominee for newest Supreme Court Justice Brett
Kavanaugh‘s now-vacant seat on a powerful appellate court in
is Indian-American woman
Rao is an American attorney, law professor, academic, and federal government
official who currently serves as the administrator of the Office of Information
and Regulatory Affairs.
woman, Rao, who serves as Trump’s “czar” overseeing regulatory
rollbacks, faced fierce questioning from Democrats not just for her work in the
Trump administration but for commentary she wrote decades ago as a Yale
University student suggesting women should change their behaviour to avoid date
cringe” at some of the language, Rao told the senators during her
testimony on Tuesday. As most every Democratic senator on the dais mentioned
her early writings, Rao stressed that they occurred nearly “two
decades” ago at a “time of exploration” in college.
Ernst, R-Iowa, who recently publicly disclosed she had been a victim of sexual
assault, said Rao’s columns gave her “pause”, CNN reported.
In one piece
for the Yale Herald written in 1994 titled “Shades of Gray,” Rao
responded to an alleged date rape incident on campus by writing: “It has
always seemed self-evident to me that even if I drank a lot, I would still be
responsible for my actions.”
“A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted. At the same time, a
good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.”
Rao said that when she was writing about the incident she emphasised that rape
is a crime and no one should “blame the victim” but that she had
attempted to make a “common-sense observation” that there were some
actions a woman could take so it would be less likely she would become a
victim. Rao said she hoped she has “matured” as a writer and a person.
Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont seized on her comments and said that as a former
prosecutor, he had dealt with rape cases. He said he feared her sentiments
might lead some women to be too ashamed to report rape.
responded that she had made it “very clear” that “rape is a
terrible crime for which men should be held responsible.”
trying to make in perhaps not the most elegant way the sort of common-sense
observation… It’s the advice my mother gave me; it’s the advice that I give my
children. And I certainly regret any implication of blaming the victim,”
Republicans leaped to her defence, pointing out that the American Bar
Association had given her a rating of “well qualified.” The Senate
committee is majority Republican.
The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, as well as Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, focused on Rao’s work for the Trump administration and its goal to roll back agency regulations.
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