Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, the United States Senate voted to confirm Judge Merrick Garland as Attorney General of the United States. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement regarding Judge Garland’s confirmation:

“We congratulate Judge Garland on his confirmation as Attorney General of the United States and look forward to working with him and his leadership team as they usher in a new era at the Department of Justice. It is imperative to our community that the Garland Justice Department immediately and unreservedly reinstitute the agency’s longstanding commitment to civil and constitutional rights enforcement — and carry out the many responsibilities that fall under this obligation.

“Among other initiatives, these responsibilities include addressing the rise in hate crimes and white supremacist violence in the United States, combatting voter suppression and enforcing the Voting Rights Act, reinstating pattern and practice investigations of police departments and the rigorous prosecution of unconstitutional policing, and investigating and eliminating inhumane confinement conditions and rampant racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

“Intensive work is unquestionably needed to ensure that people of color experience veritable equal justice under the law — and equal protection from and remedy for rights violations. We are encouraged that Attorney General Garland acknowledged the scourge of systemic racism and its far-reaching implications during his confirmation hearing, and that he has committed to actively working to eradicate it from our justice system.

“As the attorney general testified, he needs the experience, skills, and leadership of those nominated to top DOJ positions along with him — Vanita Gupta, Kristen Clarke, and Lisa Monaco — to undertake this work to center civil rights and racial justice in federal law enforcement. Now that Attorney General Garland has been confirmed, we call on the Senate to also confirm the leadership team he has indicated is essential to carrying out this critical mandate.”



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.