Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he will not seek reelection to the U.S. Senate in the 2022 election. Senator Leahy, who at the time of his election in 1974 was the youngest senator ever elected from his home state, has served the people of Vermont since 1975.

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

“For nearly 50 years, Senator Patrick Leahy has been a leader in the U.S. Senate working on many of the most important issues of our time. Whether during his former service as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee — where, as the senior-most member, he still stands as a bulwark in defense of our federal courts and the rule of law — or during his time as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Leahy has shown himself to be an effective and principled champion of justice, equality, and the creation of a more perfect union. We thank him for his service and wish him the best as he prepares to leave the Senate, an institution in which his legacy will endure.”


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.