86 Organizations Call on the Senate to Confirm Debo Adegbile to Head Civil Rights Division
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
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
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
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
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of United Latin American Citizens
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
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Prison Policy Initiative
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