17:03, January 16 190 0 abajournal.com

2019-01-16 17:03:04
DC Circuit nominee under fire for college writings on race, feminism, date rape

Neomi Rao. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Federal appeals court nominee Neomi Rao wrote about how to avoid date rape (“stay reasonably sober”) and “touchy-feely talk of tolerance” in a series of controversial opinion articles published during and soon after her graduation from Yale University.

President Donald Trump nominated Rao in November to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the former seat of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. She is reportedly on a short list for the Supreme Court. Her old articles “railed against feminism, affirmative action, political correctness, multiculturalism, LGBT rights and environmentalism,” Mother Jones reports. BuzzFeed News and USA Today also have stories.

Nan Aron, president of the liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice, told BuzzFeed News that the Rao’s writings are “consistent with the administration’s support of candidates who make racially insensitive statements and comments hostile to sexual assault survivors.” Aron provided the articles to the publications.

Rao is currently the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Her old articles included these statements:

• In a 1994 Yale Herald article, Rao commented on sexual assault allegations by a woman who went to a male student’s room after they attended a drinking party: “I’ve been to a lot of fraternity parties on this campus. 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. … A woman, like a man, decides when and how much to drink. And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice. Implying that a drunk woman has no control over her actions, but a drunk man does, strips women of all moral responsibility. It creates a culture of victimization in which men are prowling and uncontrollable, and women are weak and helpless.”

• In a second article in 1993, Rao wrote that although she was “certainly not arguing that date rape victims ask for it, when playing the modern dating game women have to understand and accept the consequences of their sexuality. Some feminists chant that women should be free to wear short skirts or bright lipstick, but true sexual signals lie beyond these blatant signs.”

• In a 1995 book review for the Yale Free Press, Rao reviewed In Defense of Elitism, writing: “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. … In our new feel-good era, everybody is OK, and political and academic standards can adjust to accommodate anyone.”

• In a 1994 Washington Times article on campus multiculturalists, Rao identified herself as Asian Indian but said she disagreed with a multicultural message of divisiveness: “The multiculturalists are not simply after political reform. Underneath their touchy-feely talk of tolerance, they seek to undermine American culture. They argue that culture, society and politics have been defined—and presumably defiled—by white, male heterosexuals hostile to their way of life. For example, homosexuals want to redefine marriage and parenthood; feminists in women’s studies programs want to replace so-called male rationality with more sensitive responses common to women. It may be kinder and gentler, but can you build a bridge with it?”

Rao said multiculturalists classify people by race, gender and sexual orientation. “Those who reject their assigned categories are called names: So-called conforming blacks are called ‘oreos’ by members of their own community, conservatives become ‘fascists.’ Preaching tolerance, multiculturalists seldom practice it.”

Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec told BuzzFeed News that Rao’s articles were “intentionally provocative, designed to raise questions and push back against liberal elitism that dominated her campus at the time.” Kupec said Rao would “make an exemplary judge on the D.C. Circuit.”

Rao’s nomination was still pending at the end of the last Congress. Trump is expected to renominate her, according to BuzzFeed.

Hat tip to How Appealing.