Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Michael Brennan to a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Brennan is one of a handful of judicial nominees expected to be confirmed to federal circuit courts this week. Todd A. Cox, Policy Director at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:

“The U.S. Senate is confirming Trump’s judicial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench at breakneck speed. This alarmingly fast attempt to reshape our federal courts is particularly disturbing at the circuit level, which has proven to be a locus for major civil rights decisions. This week alone, the Senate approved a judicial nominee who, during his confirmation hearing, couldn’t bring himself to say that implicit bias exists in the criminal justice system. The distressing views of Trump’s judicial nominees further solidify that this Administration seeks to attack our civil rights by undermining the last remaining bulwark of our democracy: the courts.

“Equally upsetting is the rapid unraveling of long-revered Senate norms. Michael Brennan’s nomination – and eventual confirmation – was considered over the strong objections of one of his home-state senators. This is a staggering departure from decades of Senate practice and effectively destroys one of the final safeguards preventing dangerously unqualified people from joining the bench for life. We call on the Senate to stop this all-out assault on the federal judiciary, and to sensibly uphold its constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on judicial nominees.”

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.