President Trump announced Tuesday that he has nominated regulatory czar Neomi Rao to fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, joined Trump on Tuesday at a White House Diwali celebration, where the president announced the move.
Rao previously worked as associate professor of law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where she founded the school’s Center for the Study of the Administrative State.
A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, she also previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and worked as associate counsel and special assistant to President George W. Bush.
In a Washington Post op-ed last month, Rao touted the Trump administration’s deregulatory efforts, which she said were “saving billions of dollars.”
Among the more controversial aspects of Rao’s writings is her support for the power of the president and the need to bring independent agencies under control of the White House. She is a critic of the “administrative state” and has previously that the independence of federal agencies should be abolished and the heads of those agencies subject to dismissal by the president.
Steven Mufson contributed to this report.