Hawley Has An Issue With Rao — But Not The Same One As Some Of His Peers

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Neomi Rao, President Donald Trump's nominee to be U.S. circuit judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, testifies during a Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Fe... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Neomi Rao, President Donald Trump's nominee to be U.S. circuit judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, testifies during a Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. Rao would fill the seat left vacant by Brett Kavanaugh after Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images) MORE LESS

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao has been at the center of a contentious confirmation process, her past writings on date rape and women’s rights coming back to haunt her in a significant way as lawmakers hesitate to promise their support.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has an issue with Rao too, but for a different reason: whispers that she is personally pro-choice.

According to a Sunday Axios report, Hawley told Axios that he is “only going to support nominees who have a strong record on life.” A source close to Rao confirmed to Hawley that Rao was pro-choice, a suspicion he first feared when reading through her academic documents.

Rao can’t afford to lose much more Republican support.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), a sexual assault survivor, has already expressed hesitancy on confirming Rao due to her writings blaming rape victims for the crime. Rao apologized for those thoughts during her confirmation hearing.

In addition, per Axios, another Republican senator reached out to express his or her concerns about Rao’s abortion stance when word of the story spread.

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