Trump Judicial Nominee Sends Letter to Senate Renouncing Her Past Writings on Date Rape

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Posted: Feb 12, 2019 3:20 PM
Trump Judicial Nominee Sends Letter to Senate Renouncing Her Past Writings on Date Rape

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Neomi Rao, Trump’s judicial nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday renouncing her past writings on date rape from her college days at Yale in the 1990s.

“I particularly regret the insensitivity demonstrated in my remarks on rape and sexual assault,” Rao wrote. “While responding to events and debates on campus, I failed to recognize the hurt that my words would cause a survivor of such crimes. I recognize now the arguments I made might discourage a victim from coming forward or from seeking help.”

“As a college student, I was sheltered,” she added. “Many years later, I have experienced more of the ups and downs of life. Becoming a mother, my perspective has shifted to focus on the safety of my daughter (15) and son (11). With greater maturity, I have more awareness of the silent victims of assault and rape.”

“As a society we should create an environment where survivors feel empowered and comfortable coming forward,” Rao emphasized. “I am sorry for anything in my college writings to the contrary.”

In 1994, Rao wrote an op-ed in “The Yale Herald” that said “a woman, like a man, decides when and how much to drink. And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of choice.”

She also wrote in that column that “a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.”

Rao faced scrutiny over the issue during her confirmation hearings and submitted the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to “further elaborate on” her views on the matter.