Neomi Rao, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, made controversial statements about victims of sexual assault among other important issues, according to The Independent.
In her writings in the Yale Herald during her time as an undergrad at Yale, Rao argued that rape victims are partially at fault if they’ve been drinking. In 1994 she wrote:
“A good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober,” Rao wrote. "And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice."
To drop this line of reasoning is to absolve women of "moral responsbibility," she said: "Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does strips women of all moral responsibility.”
In the same year, Rao similarly made questionable statements about the need for LGBTQ protections:
“Trendy political movements have only recently added sexuality to the standard checklist of traits requiring tolerance.”
The Justice Department defended the president’s choice, saying:
“Neomi Rao is a renowned constitutional and administrative law expert. That is why the president nominated her to the DC Circuit. The views she expressed a quarter century ago as a college student writing for her student newspaper were intentionally provocative, designed to raise questions and push back against liberal elitism that dominated her campus at the time. More than two decades later, her views can be found in her numerous academic articles and speeches. We are confident Ms. Rao will make an exemplary judge on the D.C Circuit.”
President Trump is expected to re-nominate Rao in the coming weeks. Another heated confirmation battle will surely follow.