United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that he has nominated Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator Neomi Rao to fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the Washington Post reported.

He made the announcement a day ahead of schedule during a Diwali ceremony at the White House that Rao attended. “I won’t say today that I just nominated Neomi to be on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the seat of Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” CNN quoted Trump as saying. “She’s going to be fantastic – great person.”

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is an agency within the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Rao is in favour of bringing independent agencies under the control of the White House and is a critic of the “administrative state”, the Washington Post reported. She has previously said the independence of federal agencies should be abolished and the heads of those agencies subject to dismissal by the president.

Rao has worked as associate professor of law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where she set up the Centre for the Study of the Administrative State. She graduated from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School and has previously worked as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ clerk and as associate counsel to former President George W Bush.