The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Neomi Rao’s established positions will come with her to the bench

Neomi Rao, President Trump's nominee for a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her confirmation hearing Feb. 5. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Post’s March 6 editorial “Partisanship could get even worse” suggested that some senators’ opposition to judicial nominee Neomi Rao based on her past abhorrent writings, including her opinions on date rape, was illegitimate. It stated that further evidence of her unacceptable views would be needed.

This argument mischaracterized the opposition to Ms. Rao, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as a complaint about a single op-ed, when, in fact, Ms. Rao wrote many such pieces about sexual assault, women’s equality, people of color and LGBTQ rights. All took positions hostile to the rights of these communities. Ms. Rao’s apology last month focused narrowly on her statements on date rape, omitting the others. Additionally, The Post’s piece failed to connect the dots between these views and Ms. Rao’s current body of work at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. At OIRA, she is presiding over attempts to roll back Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors, protections against race-based housing discrimination and protections for LGBTQ patients under the Affordable Care Act. This is strong evidence that her long-held biases hold sway at OIRA today, and would likely be carried with her to the bench.

Nan Aron, Washington

The writer is president of Alliance for Justice.