The US Supreme Court’s unanimous 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education was a watershed moment in the fight for racial justice. The ruling not only banned segregation in our schools, but it also redefined equality in the eyes of the law, setting the stage for racial integration in all facets of American life. The ruling is not simply the court’s most vital civil rights decision; it is also the court’s most vital decision about the rule of law.

At her confirmation hearing Wednesday, Wendy Vitter, President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee to serve in the Eastern District of Louisiana, refused to say whether she agreed with the high court’s momentous ruling. When asked directly, Vitter said, “Respectfully, I would not comment on what could be my boss’ ruling, the Supreme Court.” She added, “I would be bound by it. And if I start commenting on, ‘I agree with this case, or don’t agree with this case,’ I think we get into a slippery slope.”

This would be unacceptable from any person pursuing a position in public life, but it is particularly inexcusable from a nominee to a lifetime seat on the federal bench. Vitter’s failure to endorse the court’s decision is not simply an affront to civil rights, but to the legacy of Brown and the rule of law. The landmark decision must remain a red line.

Read the full op-ed here.