Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has concerns about the President’s nominee to take the seat formerly held by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the powerful DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
A source familiar with the Missouri freshman’s thinking confirms that he is questioning the views of Neomi Rao and is currently undecided on whether he will support her nomination. He has expressed that to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Hawley, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has concerns about the fact that Rao has never been a litigator, according to the source who says Hawley is also unsure of her stance on Roe v. Wade.
Axios first reported Hawley’s concerns. Hawley told Axios that he is “only going to support nominees who have a strong record on life” and that he said that he has “heard directly from at least one individual who said Rao personally told them she was pro-choice,” but he added he does not know if that is accurate. He also expressed concerns about her judicial philosophy.
Axios also reported that another Republican senator reached out to the outlet expressing concerns about Rao. Axios did not name that senator.
In addition to concerns raised by Democrats, Rao’s path to confirmation has already faced obstacles from the Republican side of the aisle. She has expressed regret and apologized for college writings on sexual assault in which she suggested women should change their behavior to avoid date rape. One of those who said Rao’s writing gave her “pause” was Iowa Republican Sen Joni Ernst. Ernst told CNN recently that she met with Rao after the confirmation hearing and that she feels “a lot better” after meeting with Rao “one on one.”
By Elizabeth Landers, CNN