Trump Picks Indian-American Lawyer for DC Circuit Court of Appeals

At a Diwali celebration at the White House on November 13, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he has nominated Neomi Rao, an Indian American lawyer, to fill Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. If confirmed, Rao would be the second Indian American to serve in this court after judge Sree Srinivasan who was appointed by President Obama. She joined Trump at the White House Diwali celebration and was present for the announcement.

Rao currently serves as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget. In her position, Rao is known as the “regulatory czar” and has been described as an “ally” to the administration in its work to reduce federal government regulations, according to

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, Rao has clerked for Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. She previously worked as associate professor of law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of law where she founded the school’s Center for the Study of the Administrative State. If confirmed by the Senate, Rao would join the Court of Appeals in hearing cases determining the legality of federal regulations.”

When asked to comment on the announcement, Rao said, “Thank you very much, Mr. President, for the confidence you’ve shown in me. I greatly appreciate it. ”Mr. Sanjay Puri, Chairman of US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) lauded Rao’s achievement and noted “this is a proud moment for the Indian American community.”


The U.S.-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) is a bipartisan, nonprofit political organization representing the interests of more than 3.2 million Indian-Americans. USINPAC leverages the smart power of the community to bring about outcomes that matter at federal, state and local levels of government, and provides support to candidates and lawmakers who share the community’s concerns. Founded in 2002, USINPAC has a successful track record of supporting and opposing legislation independently, as well as working with issue-based coalitions. USINPAC proudly serves as a resource for Congress, the Administration and for Indian-Americans at home and abroad. For more information, please visit

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