86 Organizations Call on the Senate to Confirm Debo Adegbile to Head Civil Rights Division

Media 03.4,14

The letter below was sent to the Senate from 86 national civil and human rights organizations urging for the confirmation of Debo Adegbile to head the civil rights division at the Department of Justice.

March 4, 2014

Vote to Confirm Debo P. Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 86 undersigned organizations, we are writing to indicate our strongest possible support for the confirmation of Debo P. Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.  Mr. Adegbile is a tireless advocate, a skilled litigator, and a well-respected member of the legal community who is extraordinarily qualified for and suited to this position.

Mr. Adegbile is one of the preeminent civil rights litigators of his generation. He is also a consensus builder. Mr. Adegbile has earned respect and admiration from a bipartisan set of colleagues, lawyers, and leaders, including former Solicitors General Paul Clement and Drew Days, because of his principled and measured approach to issues.

Throughout his career, Mr. Adegbile has distinguished himself as a highly effective and respected advocate who achieved successes both inside and outside the courtroom. The son of immigrants who worked his way from poverty to the top of the legal profession, Mr. Adegbile is a steadfast voice for equality and opportunity for all Americans.

Mr. Adegbile’s professional experiences are varied and his accomplishments are myriad. He has worked as a litigator for a large corporate law firm, where he handled a variety of cases for corporate, governmental, individual, and not-for-profit clients; has argued before the Supreme Court twice; and has served for a decade in various leadership positions at the nation’s first civil rights law firm, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where he oversaw cases in both the trial and appellate courts, while managing the legal staff.  He currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Adegbile is exceptionally qualified to lead the Civil Rights Division at this time in history.  As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer on civil rights issues, he would bring a depth and breadth of understanding of federal civil rights laws, and their enforcement and application.  He has litigated cases across civil rights subject areas, from voting rights to fair housing to employment discrimination to equal educational opportunity. He has practiced law at all levels, from the trial court to the Supreme Court, and has appeared in courts throughout the country.  He twice defended the Voting Rights Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Act, which President Ronald Reagan called “the crown jewel of American liberties,” was unanimously reauthorized by the U.S. Senate in 2006. 

Mr. Adegbile is highly regarded for his leadership, judgment, and integrity. And Mr. Adegbile is involved with his community — he presently serves on the Boards of Trustees of his college and middle school, and frequently speaks to students ranging in age from elementary school to law school about the importance of the Constitution, civil rights, and educational and professional opportunity.  With his stellar career of more than a decade at one of the nation’s leading civil rights law firms, and his work in the private and public sectors, it is clear that Mr. Adegbile’s skill set, talents, and experience make him the perfect choice to head the Civil Rights Division.   

Mr. Adegbile would lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division with professionalism and a deep commitment to its important and historic mission of ensuring that our nation lives up to its promise of equality and justice for all. We urge the Senate to confirm this extraordinary nominee. 


A. Philip Randolph Institute

Advancement Project


African American Ministers In Action

Alliance for Justice

American Association for Affirmative Action

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

American Federation of Government Employees

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Americans for Financial Reform

Anti-Defamation League

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Black Women’s Roundtable

Campaign Legal Center

Center for Community Change

Center for APA Women

Children’s Defense Fund

Communications Workers of America


Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund


Fair Elections Legal Network


Freedom to Work

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Hindu American Foundation

Hispanic National Bar Association

Hmong National Development, Inc.

Human Rights Campaign

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.

Japanese American Citizens League

LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

League of United Latin American Citizens

Legal Momentum



NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

NALEO Educational Fund

National Action Network

National Association of Human Rights Workers (NAHRW)

National Association of Social Workers

National Bar Association

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc.

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of La Raza

National Council on Independent Living

National Disability Rights Network

National Education Association

National Employment Law Project

National Employment Lawyers Association

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

National Immigration Law Center

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Legal Aid & Defender Association

National Organization for Women

National Partnership for Women & Families

National Senior Citizens Law Center

National Urban League

National Women’s Law Center

Native American Rights Fund

People For the American Way

PFLAG National

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Prison Policy Initiative

Project Vote

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

Southern Coalition for Social Justice

Southern Poverty Law Center

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

United Steelworkers International Union

Wider Opportunities for Women