The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter today to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing strong opposition to the confirmation of William Barr to serve as Attorney General of the United States. LDF is calling on Committee members to reject Mr. Barr’s nomination based on his long anti-civil rights record as well as his failure during his confirmation hearing to sufficiently differentiate himself from the troubling record of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who weaponized the Justice Department and attacked the rights of communities of color.
“Following Jeff Sessions destructive tenure at the helm of the Justice Department, we need an Attorney General who will restore the Department’s commitment to civil rights and the rule of law. Unfortunately, William Barr’s record leads us to believe he’ll only double down on Sessions’ shameful abdication of vigorous civil rights enforcement,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel at LDF. “Mr. Barr’s record and his responses to the questions of the Senate Judiciary Committee show no evidence that he will aggressively reverse the Department’s failure to confront voter suppression and address the racial inequities of our criminal justice system. Nor does Mr. Barr appear poised to guarantee that he will protect the Department from the President’s overreach into its legitimate law enforcement functions. Particularly at this moment in our country, we need an Attorney General who will restore the morale and the integrity of the Justice Department, and who will boldly and uncompromisingly protect its independence.”
LDF’s letter organizes the objections to Mr. Barr’s nomination into three categories: his record on criminal justice, voting rights, and the independence of the Justice Department. It highlights that the nomination of Mr. Barr must be viewed in the context of the multiple investigations into potential felonious activity that currently clouds the Administration and taints the legitimacy of their nominations. The letter also builds upon LDF’s overview of Mr. Barr’s record on civil rights throughout his career, including his time in the DOJ during the George H.W. Bush Administration.
Read LDF’s letter opposing William Barr 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.