NAACP Opposes Federal Judicial Nominee, Senate Confirms Her Anyway

By Shani Saxon May 16, 2019

As the nation approaches the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education tomorrow (May 17), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is trying to prevent the nation from reversing progress.

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson drafted a letter urging the United States Senate to reject the nomination of Wendy Vitter to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for her “refusal to endorse the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education,” which found that separating public school children on the basis of race was unconstitutional. In addition, the NAACP is calling for senators to renounce all federal judge nominees who have similarly refused to embrace Brown.

The NAACP points out in the letter:


Nominees to lifetime positions on our federal courts should be the first to pay respect to fundamental legal principles regarding equality and justice. Judges are the guardians of the rule of law. More than any other decision, Brown stands as a testament to the rule of law. The Brown ruling was met with massive public resistance throughout the South. It was federal appellate and district court judges, famously known as “unlikely heroes,” who courageously enforced the Supreme Court’s ruling despite grave personal danger and ostracism. That nominees to these very same courts refuse to embrace Brown decades later is deeply offensive to this history and to the rule of law itself. 

Despite the NAACP’s efforts, the Senate confirmed Vitter’s appointment to the federal court today (May 16), The Washington Post reports. The former prosecutor is the 107th judge confirmed since Trump took office in January 2017. According to The Post, Senator Susan Collins (Maine) was the only Republican to join with Democrats and independents to oppose her nomination in the 52-to-45 vote.