Read a PDF of our statement here.

Yesterday, the United States Senate confirmed Nancy Abudu to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Georgia. Abudu was nominated to serve on the court back in December 2021 – and LDF celebrates her long-overdue confirmation as the first Black woman on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

LDF President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following statement:

“We applaud the United States Senate for the historic confirmation of Nancy Abudu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, who will be the first-ever Black woman to serve on this court since it was established in 1981. Ms. Abudu has dedicated her career to safeguarding this country’s most vulnerable communities; her confirmation brings a crucial civil rights perspective during this time of relentless attacks on voting rights, public education, and protesters and organizers. We look forward to her tenure and congratulate her on this well-deserved and historic achievement. We also look forward to the Senate advancing the other pending nominees with civil rights expertise to add much-needed professional diversity to the federal bench.”

LDF Associate Director-Counsel Tona Boyd also issued the following statement:

“Our federal courts must reflect the rich demographic diversity of our nation and the breadth of talent across different sectors of the legal field. We are grateful to the Biden administration for the historic progress they’ve made in diversifying the bench, particularly when it comes to Black women. Ms. Abudu will be the 13th Black woman appointed to the federal court of appeals during this administration, more than all prior administrations combined. This is significant, given Ms. Abudu will serve on a court that impacts 8.5 million Black residents in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Her record of service reflects integrity and an unyielding commitment to preserving our constitutional democracy – and will be crucial to ensuring that ‘equal justice under law’ are not just words etched into the facade of the Supreme Court, but that it is part of the lived experience for everyone. We congratulate Ms. Abudu on her ascent to the bench and are grateful for her willingness to serve.”

Read LDF’s letter supporting Nancy Abudu’s nomination here.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. 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 Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF 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.