LCCR Letter to Sen. Frist on Civil Rights Priorities

Media 12.30,02

Recipient: U.S. Senate

The Honorable William H. Frist
Majority Leader
United States Senate
416 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Frist:

After your unanimous election as majority leader of the Senate on December 23, you promised to “heal the wounds of division” that have been so prominently reopened by the recent events involving Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), and his statements in support of the racist policies of the past. We hope that you will take this opportunity to demonstrate to all Americans the meaning of your commitment to inclusion, fairness, and equal opportunity. There are a number of issues facing the Congress that are real opportunities for you to help further equal justice in America, including:

  • Ensuring that individuals nominated to the federal judiciary have a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and equal opportunity;

  • Strengthening federal hate crime law by enacting the “Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act”;

  • Securing full funding for the “Help American Vote Act,” which includes critical reforms to ensure the continued health of our democracy;

  • Ensuring equity in the implementation of the “No Child Left Behind Act;”

  • Addressing widespread concerns about fairness in our nation’s criminal justice system, including enacting a ban on the discredited practice of racial and ethnic profiling and passing the “Innocence Protection Act”;

  • Ensuring equal opportunity for women and girls in education by preserving Title IX;

  • Promoting equal employment opportunities for gays and lesbians by enacting the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act”; and

  • Ensuring fairness in our nation’s immigration system.

As Senate Majority Leader, you can best express your commitment to support progress on matters of civil and human rights by establishing a specific agenda and being responsible for achieving it with sustained, concrete action. We would appreciate the opportunity to meet and discuss these issues with you at your earliest convenience. Please contact Wade Henderson, Executive Director, at (202) 466-3311 or Nancy Zirkin, Deputy Director/Director of Public Policy, at (202) 263-2880.


Wade Henderson
Executive Director

Dr. Dorothy I. Height