November 15, 2018


Neomi Rao for the D.C. Circuit (Jonathan H. Adler|Nov. 13, 2018, reason)

Before taking the reins at OIRA, Rao was a Professor at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, where she founded the law school's Center for the Study of the Administrative State (where I am a Senior Fellow). Under her leadership, the Center sponsored conferences and workshops on various issues related to modern administrative law and regulatory policy, featuring legal academics and policy experts from across the political spectrum. In this work, and through her scholarship, she garnered a well-deserved reputation for her thoughtfulness and her intellect.

Rao is not merely an academic, though. She also worked in the White House Counsel's office during the Bush Administration, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in private practice. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, she clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas. She has also served as a Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and on the Governing Council of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and co-chair of the Section's Regulatory Policy Committee.

As the above should indicate, Rao has the range and depth of experience to make an excellent D.C. Circuit judge, including service to all three branches of the federal government. Her OIRA experience, in particular, will provide her with particular in sight and expertise on administrative law and process issues. (She also would not be the first OIRA Administrator to be nominated to that Court. Judge Douglas Ginsburg had also served as OIRA Administrator.) Though labeled a "czar," the job of OIRA Administrator often involves acting as something of a traffic cop, making sure agencies play by the rules and do the work necessary to justify their desired policies. In this Administration, this has often meant telling federal agencies to go back and try again or to do more to show their work -- something judges on the D.C. Circuit often have to do as well.

Posted by at November 15, 2018 4:02 AM