Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, the United States Senate voted to confirm Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Holly Thomas as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In response to Judge Thomas’s confirmation, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:

“We congratulate our former colleague, Judge Holly Thomas, on her well-deserved confirmation as Circuit Judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As we know from her days as an Arthur Liman Fellow and Assistant Counsel at LDF, and as she has shown throughout her sterling career in civil rights law as well as her judicial and government service, Judge Thomas’s commitment to fairness and equal representation for all is unwavering.

“We have no doubt that Judge Thomas’s presence on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will benefit that court, as well as the Federal court system overall. Her combination of invaluable judicial experience on the Los Angeles Superior Court, her governmental experience, as Deputy Director for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing — the largest state civil rights agency in the nation — and her demonstrated commitment to the belief that every person has a right to equal representation is precisely the expertise needed on the federal bench.

“In addition to her intellectual brilliance and passion for justice, Judge Thomas brings diversity to the Ninth Circuit. Not only is she the first Black woman from California to join the Ninth Circuit; she is also only the second Black woman to sit on the Court in its history. We welcome the depth, breadth, and diversity of experience that Judge Thomas brings to the Ninth Circuit.



Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. 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. 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. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.