November 17, 2018

Okay, this is a first.

Neomi Rao, currently the administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (which in Trump Bizarro World means she's a HUGE advocate of de-regulation), was announced at Trump's White House Diwali celebration as his choice to replace Brett Kavanaugh as a DC Circuit judge. The choice of using the traditional Hindu celebration to announce a judicial nominee of Indian-American descent was a little cringeworthy (didn't it merit its own announcement independent of a festival celebrating the triumph of light over dark?), but not nearly as cringeworthy as Rao's own curriculum vitae.

Especially popular in Florida bars, dwarf-tossing is the strange spectacle in which competitors throw Velcro-clad little people at a wall or mattress like a shotput. The longest toss wins. The sport has been banned in some American states and parts of France, where a judge upheld such bans because of “considerations of human dignity.” Rao considers these laws an affront to individual liberty that fails to recognize the right of the dwarf to be tossed. In one article, she wrote that the decision in France upholding the dwarf-tossing ban was an example of “dignity as coercion” and that it “demonstrates how concepts of dignity can be used to coerce individuals by forcing upon them a particular understanding of dignity.”

Dwarf-tossing is an odd cause for a federal judicial nominee to champion. Even weirder, Rao has invoked it repeatedly in her writing to make the case that a misguided focus on human dignity is leading US courts to run afoul of the Constitution in decisions that advance LGBT rights and racial equality.

DWARF-TOSSING??? We have an inalienable right to hurl little people? That's American freedom?

Holy Christmas on a cracker. Just when I think we've reached the bottom of what terrible examples of humanity the Trumpers are, they go and dredge a little more slime out of the swamp.

Rebecca Cokley, a little person and disability advocate who worked in the Obama White House, had a few choice words for this kind of callous disregard for the dignity and rights of little people:

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