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January 29 2019

College Newspaper Editorials Being Used to Derail Judicial Nominee

by Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

Not long ago, before everyone’s entire life was politicized, college was a period of intellectual development. Students are young and often write with more passion than wisdom.

--an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal

 

Democrats have done a deep dive into D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao’s writings for her college newspaper to try to derail.

She would replace Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose high school yearbook figured so heavily in his confirmation hearings for a position on the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, I called attention to essayist Lance Morrow's City Journal piece entitled "High School Morality Play," that dealt with contemporary society's high school  fixation. Morrow mentioned the Kavanaugh hearings and the pillorying by supposed adults of Covington Catholic high school kids.

Morrow suggested that "progressives' fixation on adolescent behavior reflects a stunted moral intelligence."

Now,  nominee Neomi  Rao's work for her college newspaper is being dredged up to prevent the adult Rao from serving on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Wall Street Journal editors write:

Ms. Rao cleared the Senate for that post with bipartisan support—unusual in the Trump era—after an uneventful confirmation process. She’s certainly qualified for a judgeship. Ms. Rao clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, taught for a decade at George Mason University’s law school, and worked in George W. Bush’s White House counsel’s office. She’s an expert on administrative law, which is valuable for a court that hears many challenges to federal regulation.

But here comes BuzzFeed with the scoop of the year that Ms. Rao “wrote inflammatory op-eds in college.” Yes, apparently this is why some people get into journalism. The story is clearly an oppo-research dump, probably from the left-wing Alliance for Justice, which is trying to torpedo Ms. Rao.

. . .

Ms. Rao’s sins aren’t that she was inflammatory but that she is conservative. Ms. Rao took a dim view of racial preferences in a piece about the great African-American scholar, Thomas Sowell. She also wrote that progressives preach tolerance but too often don’t practice it. Q.E.D. Some of her writing is infelicitous or sophomoric, but none of it is relevant to how she might rule as a 45-year-old judge with adult life experience.

One supposedly damning piece touches on how alcohol complicates student relationships. “It has always seemed self-evident to me that even if I drank a lot, I would still be responsible for my actions,” Ms. Rao wrote in the Yale Herald. “A man who rapes a drunk girl should be prosecuted. At the same time, a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.” We look forward to the same people who assailed Brett Kavanaugh for drinking too much beer finding fault with Ms. Rao’s sobriety.

This is pretty outrageous, right?

But of course, Ms. Rao's opponents are interested in something besides college:

The real motive for destroying Ms. Rao is maintaining progressive control of the D.C. Circuit to rubber stamp the left’s agenda on climate change, health care and more. Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid packed the court during the Obama years, but Ms. Rao replacing Justice Kavanaugh won’t alter the composition of the court.

The real motive for trying to destroy Justice Kavanaugh was preventing a Justice regarded as having a less progressive judicial philosophy from getting on the court.

The real motive for going after the Covington kids, as The View's Joy Behar let slip, was that one of them wore a Make America Great hat.

But the fixation on high school and college shows that we as a society are becoming less capable of recognizing the difference between ourselves as young people who are developing and actual adults.

In short, this is a juvenile way to defeat opponents.

Let's not allow it to become effective.

 

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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