LETTER: Reject the nomination of Nancy Abudu
For immediate release: April 29, 2022
The Senate may soon consider the nomination of Nancy Abudu for the United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit. We believe there are serious concerns about Ms. Abudu’s ability to be impartial – especially considering her record as Strategic Litigation Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Legal Director of the ACLU of Florida – and urge you to reject this ill-advised nomination.
The SPLC has labeled more than 700 organizations as “hate groups.” This includes several National Religious Broadcasters members, essentially placed on the “hate” list for promoting historic Biblical teaching on certain cultural and family policy issues. These groups have no ties whatsoever to extremism or violence.
In 2018, the SPLC paid a $3.4 million settlement for labeling Maajid Nawaz, a British political activist, an “anti-Muslim extremist.” They also defamed human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali – who endured female genital mutilation, civil wars, and an arranged marriage in Africa – as an “anti-Muslim extremist.” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Dermer, labeled that designation as an “Orwellian inversion of reality.”
The SPLC grudgingly issued an official apology for placing former presidential candidate and HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on their “extremist watch list” in 2014. Several liberals, including Nathan J. Robinson, founder of the left-wing Current Affairs, have called out SPLC for such actions. Robinson has called the SPLC’s signature “Hate Map” an “outright fraud.” CharityWatch, founded in 1992 as the American Institute for Philanthropy, has given the SPLC an “F” rating for profiteering off their hate labeling.
Ironically, Ms. Abudu has expressed extreme and divisive views on matters relating to race. She characterized felons’ loss of voting rights as “practically the same system as during slavery” and senators who opposed Democrat-backed elections legislation she likened to “pro-Jim Crow senators of the past.” Ms. Abudu further expressed her belief that “passing laws requiring voters to have photo IDs” was her biggest concern regarding voter suppression.
As Legal Director of the ACLU of Florida, Ms. Abudu unsuccessfully challenged Florida’s requirement that a felon’s voting rights could be restored only after restitution imposed as part of the felon’s sentence had been paid. The 11th Circuit, sitting en banc, found no evidence to support Abudu’s claim of intentional racial discrimination. Nonetheless, Abudu joined in submitting Florida’s law to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights for review of human rights violations.
Nancy Abudu is a hard-core ideologue who seems incapable of rendering impartial legal judgment. We urge you to reject her nomination for the United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit.
Star Parker – President
Marty Dannenfelser – Vice President, Government Relations and Coalitions