Last week, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted this about Judge Neomi Rao:
Where you see Neomi Rao, you can expect a lot of Trumpy dirt to follow. She’s a cartoon of a fake judge. Watch this space.
I’m fine with politicians criticizing judges, but this tweet isn’t criticism, it’s just name-calling. If President Trump said this, liberals would rip him for it, with Whitehouse probably leading the charge.
Whitehouse’s outburst was triggered by an order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that did nothing more than require that Judge Emmet Sullivan reply to Gen. Michael Flynn’s petition for a writ of mandamus. The order was handed down by a three-judge panel consisting of Rao, Karen LeCraft Henderson, and Robert Wilkins. Henderson was appointed by the first President Bush; Wilkins by President Obama.
The order was per curiam, which means that none of the three judges assumed authorship of it. Nor, from all that appears, did any of them dissent.
Thus, as far as Whitehouse knows, Judge Wilkins is every bit as responsible for the allegedly “Trumpy” order as Judge Rao is. Yet, Whitehouse seized on the order to sling dirt at Rao.
Is it worth noting that Rao is an Asian-American? It wouldn’t be, except that if a Republican politician indulged in rank name-calling against a female judge from a minority group, he would be accused of racism and/or sexism.
Sheldon Whitehouse is a disgrace. He makes his Democratic Judiciary Committee colleagues — even the likes of Dick Durbin, Mazie Hirono, and Cory Booker — look measured by comparison.