President Donald Trump announced a slew of judicial nominations, among them that of two Indian-Americans Jan. 22.
Nicholas Ranjan, of Pennsylvania, is to be nominated as United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania; and Neomi Jehangir Rao, of the District of Columbia, for the position of U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Their names are listed among 51 individuals that the President renominated. Ranjan and Rao along with the 49 others were nominated for these positions during the 115th Congress but saw no confirmation action.
Last July 24, Trump sent Rajan’s nomination to the Senate and after it was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held hearings on Nov. 13 with no result. This Jan. 3, the nomination was returned by the Senate to the President.
Ranjan has been a partner at K&L Gates, a law firm in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. His litigation practice has been in the energy/oil & gas sector, and in complex commercial cases, as well as class action and crisis management. Ranjan is also in charge of the Pittsburgh office diversity committee, and is a member of the sub-committee member at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Litigation Center. He did his JD cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He graduated from Grove City College where he was also a concertmaster for four years, and on the speech and debate team. He was a state champion in extemporaneous speaking, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In November last year, Trump sent Rao’s nomination to the U.S. Senate to replace Judge Brett Kavanaugh who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice.
The Washington Examiner describes Rao as a “brilliant legal mind” and extremely well qualified to replace Kavanaugh. It accuses liberals of maligning Rao, claiming she has become a target. “But because she (Rao) is a rising star on the Right who has been floated as a potential replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she must be destroyed.”
In a Jan. 14 article, Buzzfeed News reported that Rao wrote opeds while in college and soon after graduation, between 1994 and 1996, “at times using inflammatory language to discuss race, date rape, and LGBT rights.”
Rao teaches and writes in the areas of structural constitutional law, administrative law, and legislation and statutory interpretation as an associate professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. She is a graduate of Yale University with a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.