If Rao does become Trump's pick to replace Kavanaugh insiders have indicated that her confirmation hearing will take place sometime in mid-December.
The Department of Justice has begun vetting Trump administration regulatory czar Neomi Rao to fill Brett Kavanaugh's former seat on the D.C. Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
DOJ began contacting relevant people to vet Rao's nomination Thursday afternoon, according to an administration official with knowledge of the process. If all goes according to plan, President Donald Trump—whom Axios previously reported had interviewed and was leaning toward Rao—expects to officially nominate her to fill the position on the D.C. Circuit sometime next week.
Rao, 45, serves currently as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, making her the "regulatory czar" of the Trump administration. From that position, she has been responsible for what Politico characterized as the "deconstruction of the administrative state." In her first year, Rao told the Free Beacon in an interview in May, OIRA has cut 22 regulations for every one it imposed, saving the taxpayers some $8 billion in fiscal year 2017 alone.
Prior to joining OIRA, Rao founded and was the first director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University, as well as a law professor at the university's Antonin Scalia Law School. She also clerked for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, whom Politico referred to as her political mentor.