Recipient: Richard J. Durbin
The Honorable Richard J. Durbin
United States Senate
332 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Durbin:
On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest and largest civil and human rights coalition, I write to express our deep appreciation for your votes in opposition to the confirmation of Dennis Shedd to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Michael McConnell to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. While we are extremely disappointed that the Judiciary Committee voted to approve both nominations, we are grateful that you stood firm in your opposition.
As you know, the composition of the federal judiciary is of profound civil rights importance to all Americans. Given the increasing conservatism and anti-civil rights rulings of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, it is crucial that any new appointee to these courts be a moderating influence who will respect the rule of law and judicial precedent.
In our system of checks and balances, the Senate has a constitutional role of equal importance to that of the President. In carrying out its role, the Senate must ensure that judicial nominees are subject to the highest standard of scrutiny. No President has a mandate to secure the appointment of individuals to the bench who are hostile to the protection of civil rights and individual liberties.
Again, thank you very much for your votes in opposition to the confirmation of Dennis Shedd and Michael McConnell. We look forward to working with you in the future on this and other civil rights priorities. Please contact Nancy Zirkin, LCCR Deputy Director, at 202-263-2880, or Julie Fernandes, Senior Policy Analyst, at 202-263-2856, if you would like to discuss any issue of importance to LCCR.