On March 23, 2019, prominent Parsi Indo-American lawyer, Neomi Jehangir Rao, was sworn in as US Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, thus becoming the second from the Indo-American community to be a part of the powerful court which is considered next only to the US Supreme Court. 45-year-old Neomi was sworn in the Roosevelt Hall of the White House by US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. She will replace US Supreme Court Judge Justice Brett Kavanaugh whose confirmation process was marred by sexual misconduct allegations. President Donald Trump participated in the swearing-in ceremony, where Neomi was joined by her husband, Alan Lefkowitz.
Born in Detroit to Parsi physicians from India – Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang Rao, Neomi was nominated by President Trump during the Diwali celebrations last November and confirmed by the Senate last week by 53-46 votes. “She is going to be fantastic. Great person,” Trump had said about Neomi.
In her previous role as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget, she played a key role in regulatory reform. Prior to this, she served as a professor of Structural Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Legislation and Statutory Interpretation at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. She founded the Law School’s Center for the Study of the Administrative State and focused her scholarship on the political and constitutional accountability of administrative agencies and the role of Congress. She has served in all three branches of government, including Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President George W Bush. Rao also served as counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where she was responsible for judicial nominations and constitutional law issues. In between government service, Rao practiced in the London office of Clifford Chance LLP, specializing in International Law and Commercial Arbitration.