Read a PDF of our statement here.

This week, the Senate is poised to confirm Jeffrey Rosen to serve as Deputy Attorney General of the United States and Wendy Vitter to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has repeatedly urged Senators to oppose both nominations based on their refusals to endorse the U.S. Supreme Court’s momentous decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Lisa Cylar Barrett, Policy Director at LDF, released the following statement:

“Both Wendy Vitter and Jeffrey Rosen represent firsts in their refusal to endorse the opinion in Brown v. Board of Education. Vitter was the first judicial nominee during the Trump administration to fail to offer support for Brown, and Jeffrey Rosen was the first Justice Department nominee not to endorse it during the Trump administration or, it appears, in any other era since the watershed ruling. The decision by each nominee to demur on the question of whether it was correctly decided is not only a rejection of the principles of equality codified in the seminal opinion, but also a rebuke of the rule of law itself. That either the ranks of our judiciary or the Justice Department would be filled with people unable to affirm their commitment to those two fundamental pillars of our legal system is outrageous. That the Senate appears poised to confirm these two nominees as we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Brown decision is repugnant.

“Commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown by confirming Vitter and Rosen dishonors all those who sacrificed to make the ruling possible. Brilliant LDF lawyers conceived of the strategy to end legal apartheid in this country, but the watershed ruling could not have happened without the courage of young Black girls and boys who persevered in the face of violent resistance to desegregate our nation’s schools. The Senate should use these votes as an opportunity to show their continuing commitment to equal justice and the rule of law, rather than allowing both essential principles to be further degraded.”

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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.

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