The History of Attacks by the Right on Civil Rights Defenders

Your Take: When Debo Adegbile was rejected by the Senate for a justice position, he joined other civil rights advocates who have been attacked.

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The real issue is civil rights law itself and the organization most identified with that law’s development and advancement. It is doubtful that Thurgood Marshall, who also faced great resistance at his confirmation hearings for the federal circuit and Supreme Court, could not be confirmed for the top civil rights post today. Our nation’s civil rights laws are here to stay. It’s time to end the practice of using confirmation votes to fight the war on civil rights.

Sherrilyn A. Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. LDF represented black voters in Shelby County, Ala., in the case decided by the Supreme Court. Follow her on Twitter.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

is a civil rights lawyer and professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

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