The Senate has just confirmed another Trump appointee to the Court of Appeals, filing Brett Kavanaugh’s seat.
The Senate confirmed Neomi Rao to succeed Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit early Wednesday afternoon.
The 53-46 vote followed party lines. Rao overcame Democrats who opposed her nomination in view of opinion pieces she wrote for a college newspaper as an undergraduate at Yale and social conservatives who expressed misgivings about her views on social issues.
“Neomi Rao’s experience and intellect make her uniquely qualified to fill Justice Kavanaugh’s shoes on the D.C. Circuit,” Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, said in a statement. “Rao will fairly apply the law and honor the Constitution; she’ll be a phenomenal judge serving on one of our nation’s highest courts.”
The D.C. Circuit is often styled the second most powerful court in the nation because its docket encompasses high-profile regulatory and separation of powers disputes. The court is also something of a farm team for the Supreme Court: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Kavanaugh served on the D.C. Circuit prior to their elevation.