Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced that she will step down from House leadership when the 118th Congress begins its term in January 2023. Speaker Pelosi will continue to serve in the House as the elected representative for the 12th Congressional District of California.

LDF President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following statement regarding the Speaker’s announcement:

“We extend our deep appreciation to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her many years of dedicated service in Congress and to this nation’s democracy. Over nearly two decades in House leadership, and as the first and only woman to serve as Speaker of the House, Speaker Pelosi carved out a historic and distinguished tenure — one marked by her clear commitment to and respect for the co-equal branches of our government and to advancing social justice through legislation to provide relief from natural disasters; access to housing, employment, and other economic opportunities; protective health strategies; among other critical interventions. She also acquitted herself exceptionally and heroically both during and in response to the attack on January 6th, 2021, including establishing the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

“Nancy Pelosi’s trailblazing leadership will be missed. She has been a laudable and steadfast public servant, even though her role was made unduly challenging by her opponents. Just recently, we were reminded of the hefty sacrifices that the Speaker and her family have made during her service to this country, including enduring substantial risks to their personal safety amid a political landscape increasingly riven with dangerous threats and incitements to violence.

“Still, Speaker Pelosi presided faithfully in the House across many sessions of Congress characterized by major legislative achievements as well as crises of government. We applaud Speaker Pelosi’s admirable service.”


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.