National civil rights leaders respond to Gorsuch hearing


    WASHINGTON –  Federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch appears headed for confirmation to the Supreme Court after hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Democratic senators seemed resigned to Gorsuch’s becoming a new member of the high court. They don’t really have a choice.  Republicans control the Senate, 52-48.  

    Much is at stake with this Supreme Court appointment, as Gorsuch could swing the Supreme Court to the right on issues ranging from voting rights and criminal justice jurisprudence to housing and employment discrimination. 

    National civil rights leaders are concerned about seeing Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.  Justices are appointed to the court for life, and their influence on significant issues lasts for many years beyond the term of the sitting president.  All of the leaders closely watched the hearing and carefully reviewed testimony. Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, testified before the committee on Thursday afternoon. Briefing participants will also discuss the likelihood and need for democrats to impose the nuclear option to force the Senate to surpass a 60-vote threshold in order to confirm Gorsuch’s nomination.  While Democrats could try to filibuster, Republicans have enough votes to change the rules to defeat it.

     WHAT:  Teleconference briefing on Gorsuch nomination

     WHEN:  Friday, March 24, 2017 at 12:00 p.m.

    WHO:    Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 

     Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

     Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP

     Marc Morial, president and CEO, the National Urban League 

     Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network

     Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund 


    Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable