Credo Action

No one who denies Brown deserves a seat on the bench

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Petition to the Senate:

"Block any judicial nominee who denies, or refuses to affirm, that Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided from a lifetime appointment to the federal bench."

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    No one who denies Brown deserves a seat on the bench

    More than 65 years ago, the Supreme Court unanimously decided Brown v. Board of Education – a landmark case that declared segregated schools unconstitutional. For decades, it stood as a shining example of the court's role in advancing progress in our nation.

    Until now. More and more of Donald Trump's judicial nominees refuse to say that Brown was correctly decided. More than 30 of those picks, including 2 who were confirmed this week, are Brown deniers.1,2

    It's no surprise that hard-right Republicans are fine to confirm judges who won't affirm basic principles of racial equality, but so-called moderate Republicans and even Democrats are voting to give Brown deniers a lifetime appointment on the federal bench. It's unacceptable and it needs to stop.

    Tell the Senate: No one who denies Brown deserves a seat on the bench.

    Even right-wing judges like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh affirmed Brown during their confirmation hearings. If these flawed and unethical judges think Brown was rightly decided, it is terrifying to think what the legions of Brown deniers will do when they are on the bench.3

    But some Senate Democrats seem to have no problem confirming these judges and legitimizing this shameful precedent. Even Democrats from blue states have voted for nearly a third of these nominees.

    Segregation is not a problem that lives in the past. Today, about 40% of all Black students are confined to schools that are 90-100% non-white, amounting to effective segregation.5 We need progressive judges who will continue the march to racial equality. But instead, Republican senators are helping Trump remake the federal judiciary in his racist, sexist image, and Democrats are refusing to put up a fight.

    Tell the Senate: No one who denies Brown deserves a seat on the bench.

    Thanks to Mitch McConnell, Trump has appointed more than 146 judges so far, while President Obama had appointed less than 100 by this point in his term. More than one in five judges on circuit courts – where most federal cases go upon appeal, and where all but a handful are decided for good – are Trump appointees, and his 37 circuit court confirmations are a record for this point in a first term. On top of it all, more than 86% of Trump's judicial appointees are white, and he has yet to nominate a single Latinx or Black judge.6,7

    Justice Stephen Breyer recently warned that we can only wonder "which cases the Court will overrule next."8 Refusing to say that Brown was correctly decided implies that these judges might actually overturn the decision – and send America back to the ugly days of open racial discrimination. We can't let that happen.

    Tell the Senate: No one who denies Brown deserves a seat on the bench.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Dahlia Lithwick, "Democrats Still Haven’t Learned Their Lesson About the Courts," Slate, Aug. 1, 2019.
    2. Nicole Goodkind, "Why Brown V. Board of Education Could Be in Jeopardy, 65 Years Later," Newsweek, May 17, 2019.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Gretchen Frazee, "How Trump is reshaping one of the country’s most liberal courts," PBS NewsHour, Aug. 19, 2019.
    6. Igor Bobic and Alexis Arnold, "Trump’s Largely White And Male Appellate Judges, In One Photo," HuffPost, Aug. 5, 2019.
    7. Goodkind, "Why Brown V. Board of Education Could Be in Jeopardy, 65 Years Later."