Read a PDF of our statement here.

CONTACT:

Rafael Medina, The Leadership Conference, medina@civilrights.org, 202.869.0390
Ty James, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Tyron.James@mail.house.gov, 202.225.5876
Marc Banks, NAACP, 443.608.4073, dbanks@naacpnet.org
Teresa Candori, National Urban League, 212.558.5362, tcandori@nul.org
Phoebe Plagens, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, 212.965.2235, pplagens@naacpldf.org

WASHINGTON – On a press call today, civil rights advocates urged the Senate to reject Cory Wilson’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The full Senate will vote on his confirmation tomorrow.

To hear a recording of the call, click here.

Speakers on the call voiced their opposition to Wilson, saying in part:

NOTE: Congressman Thompson was unable to join the call, but provided this statement for the record:

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.): “I oppose the nomination of Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. We do not need another partisan conservative on the bench. Wilson will not protect the rights of African Americans and other minorities. He has written, worked, and voted in support of laws that have the necessary effect of suppressing minorities’ right to vote – most notably by supporting voter ID laws. He also has derided federal efforts to ensure everyone, including minorities, has the right to vote. Furthermore, his opposition of the Affordable Care Act is abhorrent. Wilson’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit is unconscionable but it aptly fulfills the Trump conservative agenda of rolling back the rights of minorities.”

Lisa Cylar Barrett, Director of Policy, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.: “Cory Wilson’s level of experience is woefully lacking to support a nomination to the federal bench. His expressed views and statements leave little room to believe that he could rule without bias and prejudice, or demonstrate the impartiality and respect for rule of law necessary to serve as a federal judge. Instead of advancing a nominee who makes light of voter suppression, the Senate should be working to ensure that everyone is able to safely exercise their right to vote as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further exposed and exacerbated racial inequities in this country.”

LaShawn Warren, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: “Trump and McConnell are not acting with any sense of urgency to the address the COVID-19 pandemic nor the murder of Mr. Floyd and countless other Black people by police officers. Instead, they are doubling down on creating a judiciary they hope dismantles hard-fought civil rights protections. Historically, the Fifth Circuit has played a critical role in ensuring the implementation of key civil rights laws, and Wilson’s nomination threatens to undermine that history. Wilson’s record, anti-civil rights rhetoric, hostility to voting rights, and lack of experience and temperament make him ill-equipped to assess facts fairly and render impartial decisions in cases that involve our civil and human rights. Cory Wilson’s nomination is an affront to our civil rights legacy. Mississippians – and all of us – deserve better. Senators must reject Wilson’s nomination.”

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP: “Cory Wilson belongs nowhere near the Mississippi seat on the Fifth Circuit, where voting rights are always on the docket. His nomination is patently offensive to Black Mississippians who have struggled long and hard for the right to vote. Wilson crafted and defended voter ID laws, denied voter suppression exists, and criticized those who enforce the Voting Rights Act. Wilson is utterly incapable of dispensing equal justice to millions of Black and Brown residents of the Fifth Circuit. Even Mitch McConnell’s Senate should reject this nomination.”

Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League: “The nomination of a right-wing radical who is hostile to civil rights and the concept of equality under the law is a disgrace to any federal court but sadly consistent with the legacy of the Southern District of Mississippi and many of the judges elevated to the Fifth Circuit judges from the state.   Cory Wilson is a party operative and a staunch ideologue, and has no business serving on any federal bench.”

RESOURCES:

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.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence again Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

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