Trump announces Kavanaugh replacement for DC circuit court

President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE announced Tuesday he is nominating Neomi Rao to fill Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job MORE’s vacant seat on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Rao currently serves as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

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She is a vocal advocate of Trump’s efforts to slash government regulations, crediting the reductions with stimulating job growth.

“I think the reform efforts are part of what has stimulated economic growth and job creation and promoted technological innovation. And from my perspective, our reform efforts have really focused on promoting the rule of law and emphasized the productivity and potential of the American people that’s possible when you get rid of unnecessary economic burdens,” Rao said at an American Bar Association conference earlier this month.

Kavanaugh, who at the time was a judge on the D.C. circuit court, was confirmed to the Supreme Court after a contentious process that saw several women publicly accuse him of sexual assault. He denies the allegations.

The D.C. circuit court is often considered the nation’s second most important court, behind the Supreme Court. It has served as a launching pad for other Supreme Court justices in addition to Kavanaugh, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia.

Due to its location, the court regularly hears cases challenging federal government actions, including agency rulemakings.

Rao had previously been floated as a possible replacement for Kavanaugh on the court.

“The D.C. Circuit has a docket that’s very heavy on administrative law and that’s an area Neomi has a lot of experience in,” Joshua Blackman, an associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, told The Hill last month.

Rao is a former clerk for Justice Thomas and worked as a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School before she was confirmed to run OIRA in 2017 by a 54-41 Senate vote.