Eighteen Republican state attorneys general warned the Senate this week to reject the nomination of Nancy G. Abudu to a judgeship on the 11th circuit court, citing her self-proclamation as a radical movement legal activist.
The state top cops, led by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a letter that Abudu needs to be rejected because of her “dishonest and divisive record.”
“She is an activist. She has repeatedly used misrepresentations and hateful rhetoric to advance her political goals. And she has thus shown herself unfit for this lifetime appointment,” they wrote.
“We are familiar with Ms. Abudu’s work and her willingness to demonize those with whom she disagrees, and we know well the importance of the seat on the Eleventh Circuit that she would fill,” the AGs wrote.
President Biden nominated Abudu was nominated for the 11th circuit spot – which presides over districts in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, in 2022. Her nomination expired at the end of last Congress, prompting Biden to renominate her again earlier this year.
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“She has compared her fellow Americans to Jim-Crow-era racists. She has aligned herself with self-proclaimed ‘radical movement legal activists’ who view ‘policing’ as ‘the true threat to our collective safety.’ And she has proclaimed that our criminal justice system is ‘practically the same system as during slavery,’” the AGs wrote.
“These spurious and outrageous statements vividly demonstrate that she lacks the judgment, fair-mindedness, and integrity required of a federal judge,” they said.
Abudu has been the Director of Strategic Litigation for the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center since 2019, a widely discredited organization the AGs point out “is infamous for leveling unfounded charges of ‘hate’ against political opponents.”
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“Since becoming a leader in that organization, Ms. Abudu has engaged in those same deplorable tactics by disparaging those in her way,” they wrote.
The letter notes a “report” to Congress that Abudu and her team submitted about Alabama’s supposed “unyielding record of racial discrimination in voting.”
“The Alabama Attorney General’s Office set the record straight in a follow-up report that went claim-by-claim, documenting the SPLC’s many misrepresentations. Each misrepresentation served the overarching theme of Ms. Abudu’s report—that any disagreement over policy is proof that her political opponents are evil,” the AG’s wrote.
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“Indeed, according to Ms. Abudu, things in Alabama are the same or worse today than they were in 1965. As she tells it, Alabama’s goal — today — is to ‘establish white supremacy in this State,’”they wrote.
Abudu’s assertions are “as offensive as they are baseless,” the AGs said.
Last month an SPLC attorney was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia as part of a violent protest and charged with domestic terrorism. The arrested attorney worked in the same office that Abudu lists as her work address, the AGs noted.
“In response to the arrest, the SPLC tacitly approved its employee’s alleged terrorism, choosing instead to put out a joint statement with the radical National Lawyers Guild criticizing the supposed ‘heavy-handed law enforcement intervention against protesters.’”
“It’s not clear whether Ms. Abudu was involved with that attorney or the SPLC’s response to his arrest, but the SPLC’s response shows the culture of its office and its attitude toward the rule of law and law enforcement,” the AGs wrote.
“It would be hard to overstate the importance of federal circuit courts of appeals. Nearly every federal appeal ends at the circuit court. Attorneys in our offices regularly practice before these courts, and we have great respect for these judges who dedicate their lives to the rule of law and to ensuring that all litigants before them are fairly heard,” the AGs said.
Abudu was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 12-11 last month. It’s now up to the full Senate to determine her final fate.
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