'No to Neomi Rao' - over 65 South Asian women lawyers sign letter against Trump nominee
By Barfi Culture Team
5th February 2019

In a powerful intervention today, a large group of South Asian women lawyers and violence survivors have written to US Senators urging them to re-think Trump nominee Neomi Rao.

Ms Rao has been nominated by the Trump administration to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

She would be the first South Asian American woman to sit on a federal appellate court. And that is what makes the letter more pertinent.

It states:

"We are a group of 65 South Asian American women who are civil and human rights lawyers, law professors, and advocates of survivors of violence. We firmly believe in the importance of a diverse federal judiciary, and it is not lost upon us that if confirmed, Neomi Rao would be the first South Asian American woman to sit on a federal appellate court. However, we are deeply alarmed by Neomi Rao’s record, particularly around gender rights, and we do not believe that she will bring independence and fairness to the federal bench."

Barfi Culture covered Neomi Rao's nomination and her views a few weeks ago.

The letter explains: "Rao’s policy decisions have led to the rollbacks of public protections relied upon by vulnerable communities including women, survivors of sexual violence, and LGBTQ people. In 2017, Rao gutted an equal pay initiative that required employers to collect data on wages by sex, race, and ethnicity, claiming that it was “unnecessarily burdensome.” OIRA also vetted the Department of Education’s draft proposed rules that seek to undermine civil rights protections for sexual assault survivors in schools under Title IX."

It adds: "These writings are not merely inflammatory or controversial. This is victim-blaming and rape apologist language, and it has no place in our society, let alone the federal judiciary."

The letter urges Senators to "thoroughly and carefully vet" her record and not fast-track her confirmation to a lifetime judicial appointment.

Some of the signatories were at the hearing today

And so far its not going to well for Ms Rao

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