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Dems Grill Trump Judicial Pick Rao on Past Sexual Assault Victim Blaming

HeadlineFeb 06, 2019

Senators held a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. California Senator Kamala Harris asked Rao about articles she wrote while in college in the mid-1990s, including a piece in which she blamed women for putting themselves at risk for sexual assault by drinking too much. Rao said she regrets her past views on sexual assault. This is Senator Harris questioning Rao.

Sen. Kamala Harris: “You said, quote, 'Women should take certain steps to avoid becoming a victim.' What steps do you have in mind that women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?”

Neomi Rao: “Senator, it’s just sort of a commonsense idea about, for instance, excessive drinking. You know, that was advice that was given to me by my mother.”

Sen. Kamala Harris: “So that’s one step you believe women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?”

Neomi Rao: “Well, it is—it is just a way to make it less likely.”

Neomi Rao—who has never tried a case in court—also wrote in past articles that affirmative action is the “anointed dragon of liberal excess,” said welfare was “for the indigent and lazy,” and called LGBT issues a “trendy” political movement.

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