Ahead of this week’s vote on his nomination, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter to Senate leadership today opposing the confirmation of Michael Park to a lifetime seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over federal cases in the states of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.
In the letter, LDF highlights Park’s long record of hostility to civil rights, including his substantial work focused on dismantling programs designed to advance educational equity. Park opposed race-conscious admissions programs in Fisher v. University of Texas and Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC, in addition to currently serving as opposing counsel against LDF in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. LDF’s letter also highlights Park’s continued defense of adding an untested, harmful question on citizenship to the 2020 Census. As LDF argued in our U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on the issue, the addition of such a question is an anti-democratic effort to erase people of color – noncitizens and immigrants alike – from the census count, keeping them from fair representation and access to resources.
Sent the week before the 65th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, LDF’s letter cites Park’s failure to support the momentous ruling during his confirmation hearing. By refusing to endorse the decision, Park joins other recent judicial and executive nominees in flouting essential democratic norms, like the rule of law and equal justice. Confirming him now would help normalize this unacceptable stance, which aligns with Park’s entire career devoted to attacking civil rights.
“Michael Park’s hostility to racial justice and equality coupled with his lack of regard for fundamental civil rights precedent render him poised to weaponize the federal judiciary against well-established norms and precedent,” writes Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF President and Director-Counsel. “The Senate must use its ‘advice and consent’ power to ensure that our nation is served by judges who will uphold the rule of law and equal rights for all Americans and reject nominees like Mr. Park whose views and career reflect deep opposition to these core principles.”
Read LDF’s letter here.
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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and 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.