Read a PDF of our statement here.

Despite widespread opposition from civil rights advocates, the Senate voted today to confirm William P. Barr as the next Attorney General of the United States. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), released the following statement:

“In confirming William Barr to serve as Attorney General of the United States, the Senate has once again confirmed a nominee who lacks a clear commitment to restoring the Department of Justice’s leadership in defending civil rights. Our strong opposition to Mr. Barr was rooted in a thorough review of his record, and his failure to offer a clear vision during his confirmation hearings for enforcing our core civil rights laws and protections.

“The tenure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a blow to the integrity and credibility of the Department. We now call on Attorney General Barr to demonstrate that he will take a different path than Mr. Sessions. It is imperative that Mr. Barr set a clear agenda for civil rights enforcement in the Department. He can begin by mobilizing federal resources to challenge voter suppression, by lifting Mr. Sessions’ ban on investigating patterns and practices of police misconduct, and by presenting a comprehensive plan to address the rise in hate crimes. While we hope that Attorney General Barr will turn a new page at the Department, we remain clear-eyed about what is to come, and we will continue to challenge any attempt by this Administration to undermine equal justice under the law.”

Read LDF’s overview of Mr. Barr’s record here.

Read LDF’s letter opposing Mr. Barr here.


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.

Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.