Urban League Troubled by Wendy Vitter's Refusal to Endorse the Precepts of Brown v. Board of Education | Calls on Senate to Reject Her Nomination

May 23 2018
WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2018) – National Urban League President and CEO, Marc H. Morial, today released a letter written to Senators Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, expressing great concern for federal judicial nominee Wendy Vitter and calling on the body to reject her nomination.  Vitter’s nomination is included among the nominees scheduled for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning.  The full letter follows and is attached. 
 
-----
 
The Honorable Chuck Grassley 
Chairman, 
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary 
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein 
Ranking Member,
United State Senate Committee on the Judiciary 
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
 
I write because I am extremely troubled and shocked by Wendy Vitter's refusal to endorse the precepts and holding of the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education.
 
My letter is written from the perspective of not only now serving as the President of the National Urban League but also serving as the Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002 as well as a member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1992 to 1994. Prior to that, I maintained an active law practice in New Orleans which included not only civil rights work but commercial and civil litigation as well as criminal defense work. Louisiana is a better place, and more open society due to Brown.
 
As such, I am familiar with Wendy Vitter's professional record in New Orleans and Louisiana.
 
My sense of shock and outrage at her refusal, and the refusal of any nominee for the Federal Circuit Court, to fail to endorse the precepts and holding of the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education is troubling and disqualifying for such an important post as Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
 
I do not come to this without careful thought, deliberation and consideration.
 
My first instinct prior to Ms. Vitter's testimony was to not publicly oppose her nomination even though she and I share different points of view about many important constitutional and jurisprudential issues. However, it is a matter of overriding principle for me that the decision in Brown changed the arc in not only American history, but also the arc of Louisiana and New Orleans' history.
 
If not for Brown, I as well as many others would not have had the opportunity to attend the integrated schools in New Orleans in the 1960s and 70s nor the opportunity to attend the prestigious University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University Law Center in the 1970s and 80s.  For so many in my generation, the Brown decision opened the door. For anyone in the early 21st Century to even hint that they may be open to revisiting the decision in Brown is absolutely disqualifying and reprehensible.
 
It is for these reasons that I urge you to exercise your constitutional right to advise and consent and to reject Ms. Vitter's nomination.
 
With kindest regards, I am 
 
Yours very truly,
 
Marc H. Morial
President and Chief Executive Officer 
National Urban League
 
cc:         
The Honorable Cedric Richmond
U.S. Representative,
2nd Congressional District of Louisiana
 
                                                                                 ###
 
Contact: K. Kim Atterbury | (202) 629-5750 | katterbury@nul.org

Dowloadable Documents: