Cory Booker

Cory Booker Asked Neomi Rao If She Ever Hired LGBT Law Clerks. She's Never Been a Judge.

The senator has a history of grandstanding during judicial hearings.

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Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom

Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) squared off with D.C. Circuit nominee Neomi Rao at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, asking the potential judge if she has ever employed any LGBT law clerks. While the question raised eyebrows for multiple reasons, the most glaring is that she's never been a judge, so she's never had any law clerks—LGBT or otherwise.

But the question itself is suspect: It implies that sexuality should be part of the test for determining an applicant's suitability for hire. "Um, to be honest I don't know the sexual orientation of my staff," Rao said, when pressed by Booker. "I take people as they come, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation."

It would certainly set an odd and dangerous precedent to grill a potential staffer on his or her sex life. And while LGBT protections vary between state and local governments, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's federal guidelines bar workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They monitor federal government employees for compliance, which would include Rao, both as the current Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and as a potential federal judge. (Although the Justice Department challenged those rules when President Trump took office, the EEOC is still enforcing current guidelines. That could lead to a showdown at the Supreme Court.) Similarly, it's illegal to probe job applicants about their marriage and family life.

Booker also grilled Rao about whether she thought gay relationships were "sinful." She replied that her personal views on the subject would not influence her decisions. If this was supposed to be another "I am Spartacus" moment for the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, it fell just as flat as his last attempt.

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122 responses to “Cory Booker Asked Neomi Rao If She Ever Hired LGBT Law Clerks. She's Never Been a Judge.

  1. Booker asking Rao about whether or not something is “sinful” is yet another thinly veiled religious test in a long line of religious tests that Democrats have tried to impose (“the dogma lives loudly in you” and “are you now or have you ever been a Knight of Columbus”).

    How can you cite the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but not the explicit ban against religious tests in the actual text of the Constitution?

    1. Because they don’t think that the actual text of the constitution matters.

      1. Oh, they do when it comes to some faiths. There really is no difference between a “Muslim ban” and “bake the cake” and “religious tests”. They’re all rooted in the same illiberal bigotry.

        1. A fair point, and even while I have fundamental problems with Islam I would never suggest that just because someone is of the Islamic faith that they are barred from public service or holding office.

          Sure, I’d be suspicious of them just like I’d be suspicious of a Christian fundamentalist like a Pentecostal holding office, but if that’s who a group of people want to represent them that’s sort of their business.

          1. Yeah, you can have suspicions about someone holding a judicial seat and how their religion impact their rulings, but there is a reason why the Founders explicitly forbade federal officials from inquiring about someone’s faith.

            I just really don’t grasp how someone could have a problem with a Muslim ban (as they should), but think asking probing religious questions, which are explicitly banned by the Constitution, are not a problem. The only way that makes sense is if you accept the Progressive Hierarchy of Victimhood, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when it comes to religion in the US, because historically most religious prejudice has been centered around other Christians rather than non-Christian faiths in this country.

            1. I’d say it’s because liberals generally believe in non-discrimination on the basis of faith but they also hate Christians in particular because they loathe their political enemies in the south who are overwhelmingly Christian. Familiarity breeds contempt, or something like that.

  2. Breaking: Elizabeth Warren officially apologizes for falsely claiming Native American heritage.

    WaPo obtained State Bar registration card clearly showing she filled in “Native American” on the ‘Race’ line, dated 1986.

    I think it’s time we put this controversy behind us and vote her in as our new president.

    1. She filled in “American Indian” which is worse.

    2. Corey Booker is going to win the nomination just because he’s the only one who never wore blackface

      1. Cory’s gonna get caught with the proverbial “live boy”.

  3. Spartacus 2020: It’s nothing but grand standing.

    1. Wrong classical character.

      He is Simplicio, not Spartacus.

  4. So, does Booker ask all of his staffers who they slept with lately? I was brought up to believe that asking people questions of that personal nature is unforgivably rude. Apparently the rules have changed.

    1. Apparently the rules have changed.

      Yep. Tell us about the last time you mosied on down to stinky town.

    2. “I was brought up to believe that asking people questions of that personal nature is unforgivably rude. Apparently the rules have changed.”

      Yes, the rules have changed, now asking those kinds of questions of prospective employees is not just rude, it’s illegal.

    3. This might be a surprise, but most of us will unintentionally drop hints about our sexuality in casual conversation.

      “Hey Frank, what did you do last weekend?” “Oh, me and the girlfriend went to see that new movie.”
      “Hey Alice, can you stay late tonight?” “Sorry, I gotta pick up the kids. Normally my husband does it, but he’s visiting his sick aunt this week.”

      If the only way you know about folk’s orientation is by asking who they’ve slept with? You aren’t paying attention.

      1. “Hey Frank, what did you do last weekend?” “Oh, me and the girlfriend went to see that new movie.”
        “Hey Alice, can you stay late tonight?” “Sorry, I gotta pick up the kids. Normally my husband does it, but he’s visiting his sick aunt this week.”

        All clever cover for their on-the-down-low lifestyle.

        1. All clever cover for their on-the-down-low lifestyle.

          Frank likes rom coms and is really going to see Isn’t It Romantic by himself. The whole reason he invented the girlfriend is so that people who overanalyze and try to read between the line don’t mistakenly think he’s gay.

          1. “confirmed bachelor”

        2. You don’t want to know what ‘auntie’s’ sickness is…

      2. Joke’s on you. Everybody knows Frank couldn’t attract a woman, let alone keep her around for the duration of an entire movie, and Alice’s husband is actually transgender. The kids are adopted.

      3. My employee would always use the term “spouse.” He told his coworkers he was gay, but he never told me.

        I played along with the charade. I never asked him directly. Because I don’t care.

        1. I always use the term “partner” just cause it confuses people into thinking I might be gay, which gets me extra victimhood points in my progressive corner of the world.

      4. I never really thought about that. I think you’re right though. The other day I heard a conversation between coworkers that went like “Hey Frank, what did you do last weekend?” “Oh, I had some really great raging butt sex with by buddy Jim.”

    4. I know this is non-sequitor for most progressives, but asking sexual orientation with the aim of hiring LGBTXYZ is discriminating against heterosexuala, isn’t it?

      1. Impossible. Discrimination only occurs when there’s power + prejudice.

        1. I love this argument. It begs the question which orientation has real power? Considering how it is pretty much standard that you must include at least one LGBTQ character in any form of entertainment anymore. Just as one example.

  5. Breaking: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Runtime Still At 3 Hours; Russo Brothers Talk Test Screenings

    “We have screened the movie four times for audiences now,” Anthony Russo told us. “For the first three screenings, not a single person got up to go to the bathroom.”

    OMG!!!

    1. You see certain talking points handed out to the same old writers, critics, reviewers, and recently those writers who stay “on message” for the right way to think have been shitting on ol’ Cap and Tony Stark pretty hard for being old white male shitlords, except they can’ be that specific so it’s all just a “we need something new” etc. They are two of the best characters IMO, being an old white priveleged shitlord myself, not that I dislike any of the others. I have a theory that Sam Wilson becomes the new MCU Cap (not a bad idea in itself), and the writers toss Rogers on the shitheap. The reaction to the “Secret Wars” comics from crazies like my sister was “OMFG HAHA I KNEW HE WAS A NAZI FUCKING OLD WHITE SHITLORD” before it was revealed that it wasn’t even him, so I figured the movies would give the idiot vanguard what they want; do the “progressive” thing and toss two of the most central characters on the big burning pile of intersectionally disfavored corpses.

        1. Just try one word at a time. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re stupid just because you don’t learn as fast as the other kids.

    2. Were they all given movie theater sized drinks though?

      1. Maybe they were allowed to bring piddle packs into the theater.

  6. During the course of this Booker made a comment to the effect of “how can you be a leader to someone whose innate qualities you think are depraved”.
    Booker seems to require ideological conformity on the question of sexuality morality to hold a judgeship. Though I have to wonder with many Catholics and other Faiths in New Jersey that have traditional ideas on sexual morals, how he can properly represent people as Senator whose values he deplores.

  7. “Um, to be honest I don’t know the sexual orientation of my staff,” Rao said

    I love claims like this. They’re so obviously transparent.

    Does any of her staff keep family photos on their desks? Maybe pictures of kids or spouses? Wedding-day photos? Does no one ever talk about their weekend, what they did and with whom?

    Heck, back when I was doing menial food service jobs, and we didn’t have any space to put up our memoribilia, we still knew that stuff. Because people talk about what they’re doing after work, what they did on the weekend, what’s going on in their lives, etcl and so-on.

    So I don’t buy it. If she really has no clue about the sexual orientation of any of her staff, then she’s either deliberately obtuse, or her office is the most dour and joyless office to ever exist.

    1. I agree. This is a much dumber comment than Senator Booker’s

      1. Why? I didn’t realize a coworker was gay until I met his husband after working with him for 3 years.

        1. So you agree too that Escher’s point is so much dumber than Senator Booker’s idiotic statement?

        2. If she’d said “I don’t know if any of my employees are gay”? That’d be reasonable. Folks stay closeted for many reasons, that your boss once wrote forcefully about how Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decided is probably a good one.

          But that’s not the limits of what she said. She also denied knowing if any her employees were straight. That… is a much less reasonable statement.

          1. You’re truly an idiot.

          2. “”If she’d said “I don’t know if any of my employees are gay”? That’d be reasonable.”‘

            Would it? So she wouldn’t exactly be answering the question and could represent a bias by referring to all of the LGBT crowd as just gay.

          3. So, if you squint real hard and turn your head to the exactly correct angle you can misconstrue their statement to be slightly wrong in it’s phrasing.

            Yup, that does seem like an even dumber point than Booker, and Booker is such a dim bulb that he’s completely in the dark.

        3. second this.

      2. Attorneys have a definite understanding of the difference between knowledge and assumption.

        1. I also wonder if Booker was trying to set her up. If she said yes, he could ask her how she knew opening a door for being accused of violating labor laws.

          1. EXACTLY. I’m not sure why the other people here aren’t picking up on this. Why would you ever admit to knowing the sexual orientation of your staff IN FRONT OF THE NATIONAL MEDIA?

            If this were a private conversation, sure Rao’s response would be beyond dumb. But in front of the media, it is absolutely the smartest and safest answer she can give if she wants to be confirmed.

        2. Spouses are often surprised to discover the orientation of their partners…

      3. Booker’s question is stupid^2 because:

        1. she’s never been a judge before, so she has never had any law clerks.

        2. Under current EEOC rules, it would be illegal for any employer, including a judge hiring law clerks, to ask any perspective employee such questions.

        “Heck, back when I was doing menial food service jobs, and we didn’t have any space to put up our memoribilia, we still knew that stuff. Because people talk about what they’re doing after work, what they did on the weekend, what’s going on in their lives, etcl and so-on.”

        Employees talk about that stuff among themselves. Very, very few talk about that stuff with their employer.

      4. “This is a much dumber comment than Senator Booker’s”

        No, its not. Its an extremely adept comment when in front of the national media. Why would you EVER say anything different than what Rao said?

        I’m guessing that “Well, we have 5 gay men, 3 lesbo women, a trans person, and 14 hetersexual people.” would NOT go over well for her.

        Rao gave the perfect response.

    2. I think it’s only partly true. In my experience, generally everybody knows what the married folk are up to, but the single folk are hit-and-miss. I had a couple of experiences early on where everybody in the office knew what was going on in my relationships (once when dating a co-worker, and once when dating the friend of a co-worker). I quickly got tired of that! So I’m pretty reticent about that around the office.

      1. No. If you don’t know who is or isn’t gay you are somehow the bigot now. That’s what idiots believe.

        1. Just get a GAYdar detector. Problem solved!

          1. Sharper Image!

      2. Never shit where you eat.

    3. There is a difference between inferring and knowing for sure. Unless someone directly tells you, you are speculating which has it’s own hazards for a supervisor to engage in.

      1. ^^ This.

        If you are speculating, you don’t really know. If asked, go with what you know, not what you speculate.

        1. Even if I know someone is married I do not assume that means they are straight.

          Hell, my brother in law just became my ‘sister’ in law after twenty years of marriage and three kids.

          1. Is your last name Jenner perhaps?

          2. This is especially true of bisexuals. I am bi but married to a woman, I doubt many people I work with know my sexual orientation. It also doesn’t hurt that in my job I am pretty much independent and only have two other people in my office, who I’m not trying close to

        2. Especially in official testimony, and even more especially if under oath.

      2. Unless someone directly tells you, you are speculating which has it’s own hazards for a supervisor to engage in.

        Especially under oath in front of the Senate as part of your job inquisition.

        1. When giving testimony under oath, the difference between “know” and “assume” is often a few years in prison.

    4. So I don’t buy it. If she really has no clue about the sexual orientation of any of her staff, then she’s either deliberately obtuse, or her office is the most dour and joyless office to ever exist.

      To be fair, I’ve known a number of married people (hetero-normative marriages) that turned out to be… not so normative.

      1. For that “to be fair”, you have to imagine that’s what Booker was asking about.

        Fact is, no one would fault her for thinking that a married couple presenting as hetero-normative was straight. Not one. But here you are, pretending that it’s only fair if we look at a straight couple with kids and grand-kids and say “nope, no idea about their orientation”.

        That’s “fair” to you?

        1. It’s only fair if it’s a box you check on your application form. That’s the only way to be sure. And be sure we must.

        2. You make a ton of convenient assumptions in your argument.

          1. That could get him sued.

          2. Dumbassed self-defeating nonsense assumptions too.

            Sexuality is fluid until EscherEnigma glances at it and then *poof* crystalline. Once and forever.

            1. Schrodinger’s Orientation Model

        3. It was a disingenuous question and her answer left you grasping at straws.

          She wins.

        4. When being asked a question during a Congressional hearing. You don’t assume about the question being asked.

          That is very fair.

        5. “Fact is, no one would fault her for thinking that a married couple presenting as hetero-normative was straight. Not one”

          Ha! So naive!!!

        6. No, In front of a Senate committee testifying under oath, in your own confirmation hearing, You answer only by what you know for certain, not what you guess because you have some “clue”.

          You don’t know for certain anyone’s sexual orientation unless they tell you, and as an employer, it would be illegal under current EEOC rules for her to ask that question.

          1. I’m wonder if Booker was trying to setup a gotcha question along those lines.

    5. her office is the most dour and joyless office to ever exist.

      Does gossip give you joy?

    6. Does any of her staff keep family photos on their desks? Maybe pictures of kids or spouses? Wedding-day photos? Does no one ever talk about their weekend, what they did and with whom?

      As if that shit fucking matters when it comes to the workplace.

      1. I took a moment to consider his point, then realized that no, I don’t know my coworkers orientations, because I don’t give a fuck. It has literally no value to me.

        I DO know who drags on their work and makes my life miserable because of though.

  8. Trump is in trouble because Booker is legit.

    1. Crusty is TBone. Who knew?

  9. “Ah say, have you ever a-hired any El Bee Gee, Q-Tee?

  10. Christ, what an asshole.

    But he makes up for it by being a colossal moron.

    1. HA! I was going to say “Jesus, what a douche.”

      1. AHA! I was going to say “God, what a tool.”

  11. Of course conservatives are pouncing on this as if Booker made a “gaffe.” But that’s exactly the wrong analysis. The point is Drumpf is literally trying to turn this country into The Handmaid’s Tale, and rushing through dangerous right-wing extremist judges is part of that. Scrutinizing those judges is absolutely necessary. Good for Booker.

    #LibertariansForBooker

    1. It’s funny when a parody doesn’t sound at all like a parody

      1. That is art.

    2. OMG, THEY ARE SO RACIST!!!!

  12. Booker also grilled Rao about whether she thought gay relationships were “sinful.” She replied that her personal views on the subject would not influence her decisions. If this was supposed to be another “I am Spartacus” moment for the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, it fell just as flat as his last attempt.

    Wait a minute, sin is what drives the modern cultural narrative. In fact, original sin is now the central feature of modern so-called secular discourse. Who here doesn’t retain the original sin of white privilege?

    1. Darn tootin that’s exactly how it goes. Confess your sins! Admit how hateful and awful and shitty you are and kneel before your betters! Sacrifice yourself completely unto the WOKENESS or burn forever in the fires of being called a nazi by morons!

  13. “If this was supposed to be another “I am Spartacus” moment for the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, it fell just as flat as his last attempt.”

    The winner of the Democrat nomination in 2020 will be the candidate who can demonstrate that he or she is more social justice warrior than the others, but even apart from that . . .

    Progressives do not care about issues anywhere near as much as they care about changing people’s hearts and minds in regards to racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Yes, they’re eager to use the coercive power of government to impose their views on the hearts and minds of any dissenters, but that isn’t anywhere near as important to them as publicly projecting the unacceptability of racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

    Point being, Corey Booker just hit a home run. He set the mark. Now Kamala Harris and Liz Warren will feel compelled to top him. Before this is over, the Democrat candidate will look like a radical social justice warrior, which is to say that the progressive voting block will be exposed for what they are. And they’re still yet to even start posturing on environmental policy!

    1. The only way any of them could top one another at this point would be to tell Catholic nominees that they worship “The Whore of Babylon”. In all honesty, they’ve already been recycling old KKK talking points about the insidious Knights of Columbus. Quoting the Klan to own the Catholics. How can you top that?

      1. Scene: League of Women Voters hosts a primary debate between the top four Democrats.

        Moderator: “Ms. Harris, Sacramento has mandated that all electricity generation in the state of California be entirely free of carbon emissions by 2045. If you’re elected president, would you support rolling out such a policy nationwide?

        Kamala Harris: “The planet isn’t being destroyed by only one state, Jim. If we want to save it, then, yes, we need some common sense carbon control in this country, and that goal is thoroughly achievable by 2045.

        Bernie Sanders: “I’m proposing a jobs program. We can create more than 3 million high paying jobs by eliminating carbon emissions, so why wait until 2045? My administration will eliminate all carbon emissions by 2035!”

        Elizabeth Warren: “We need to stick it to the fat cat billionaires! Make them pay for ruining the planet. They use our roads. They use our school to educate their workers. If we hit them with a hefty billionaire tax, we can accelerate that timetable. When I’m president, I’ll eliminate all carbon emissions by 2025”.

        Cory Booker: “I don’t see why we can’t eliminate all carbon emissions today!”

        *applause*

        1. It’s like seeing into the future

          1. I’m kinda proud of “common sense carbon control”.

    2. Progressives dont give a shit about changing minds.
      Progressives care about compelling submission.

      In fact, changed minds would negate the purpose and significance of being progressive in the first place – who would they have to hate if there were no haters?

      Nothing is more important to progressives than hate.

      1. “Progressives dont give a shit about changing minds.
        Progressives care about compelling submission.”

        They want to compel you to change your mind, and, yeah, they’re willing to use government to do it–but that isn’t their first choice. They like education, but they’ll also use intimidation and public humiliation.

        It isn’t enough that you’ve never discriminated against anyone for being LGBTQI+. You were a first grade teacher at a private Christian school that doesn’t perform gay marriages. There is sin in your heart!

        It isn’t enough that you’ve never discriminated against anyone for their race. You said and did insensitive things when you were in high school . . . There is sin in your heart!

        1. Publicly humiliating public figures for their insensitivity (rather than any discrimination) is about trying to scare the rest of us into changing our hearts. It isn’t enough to be tolerant in action. If they can tell the difference between actual discrimination and merely being insensitive, being insensitive is considered the worst of the two–especially if you were insensitive in public. Who cares if there’s no evidence of actual discrimination. You must feel the holiness in your heart, and if they find any sin in your heart?

          They used to burn people at the stake for the sins in their hearts. Progressives just go with public humiliation these days–and the greatest sins of all are racism, misogyny, and homophobia. It’s not enough to avoid discriminating against people. Your heart must be free of sin or you will be exposed.

  14. “I don’t ask people about their sexual preferences in job interviews, Senator.”

    1. “BIGOT!”

    2. “I also don’t think it’s possible to ever learn more about a person after their interview. I shun all contact with my employees that isn’t strictly work-based. I prohibit all my employees from keeping family photos on their desks, or ever casually mentioning them. If you must speak of your children, you will do so in a way that assumes they sprang full-formed from your forehead.”

      1. Most people don’t really care what people do outside the office. They only care about how their coworkers perform their job. Your argument is so bad that I’d be embarrassed if I were you.

        1. The argument isn’t whether people care. It’s whether people know.

          1. Newsflash: Most people don’t know, because they do not inquire.

            Should I assume now that you only know because women are gossip-y? Because that’s the same kind of generalized stereotype that underpins your argument that “people would know”.

            1. Newsflash: Most people don’t know, because they do not inquire.

              Also, my co-workers know what I want them to know which may or may not align with truth or facts.

          2. And you’re being told they don’t, and for some stupid fucking reason, not accepting that.

          3. You are aware that under legal testimony, what you know is a separate thing from what you make educated guesses about. Not to mention the fact that a supervisor is ethically and legally required to be officially blind about certain aspects of the personal lives of the people who work under them?

      2. “And once I found out they were gay, I fired them immediately for being abominations before God. Is that what you actually wanted to hear?”

    3. If gays ever become a protected class covered by the CRA, everyone will be asking their employee’s sexual preferences. Making gays a protected class will mean no one can keep their sex life private from their employer any longer.

      1. Even if your first sentence is correct (doubtful), the second sentence doesn’t follow as you can know about someone’s sexual orientation without knowing a thing about their sex life.

        1. One’s “sexual orientation” is in fact generally considered to be a “thing about their sex life” at least by people not trying to make stupid arguments on the internet.

  15. Given the number of pro-abortion Catholics in the Democratic Party, I am baffled by the Catholic-bashing. Perhaps they feel guilty?

    1. They’re losing the Catholic vote. It was pretty much 50/50 by the turn of the 20th Century (they’ve been losing church attending Catholics since the mid-90’s), but now it’s moving more toward 55/45. Democrats attack people whose votes they know they can no longer win. Their options are to energize their socialist base by going full KKK on the Catholics or moderating their positions in order to curry more Catholic voters. They made their choice.

      1. *21st Century

  16. Corey Booker is not bright.

  17. “Excuse me, Senator, but are you asking me to “out” my employees in the middle of a public hearing?”

  18. “No. I’ve never employed any law clerks…..or any midgets, dwarves, or elves. Next question.”

  19. It’s weird because Booker used to be a fairly sane Democrat. But he’s gone crazy trying to pander to the far left.

  20. Spartacus: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral, and the eating of snails to be immoral?
    Rao: WTF?
    Spartacus: Let me tell you of my friend Biggus Dickus.
    Rao: I’m outta here.
    Spartacus: You ever seen a grown man naked? DO YOU LIKE MOVIES ABOUT GLADIATORS?

    1. Was that back when you were Over Under, but Under Done?

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