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Dozens Arrested As Activists Press Senators to Stop Weaponizing Federal Courts, Seek to Ensure Judges Affirm Brown v. Board

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Today, nearly 150 activists stormed Senate office buildings to confront Senators - both Democrats and Republicans - who are helping weaponize the federal bench and push through narrow-minded federal judges, including those who refuse to definitively state that Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided 65 years ago. 

The group - led by CPD Action and Demand Justice - visited the offices of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mark Warner (D-VA). Following several acts of civil disobedience, more than 10 were arrested and dozens more were escorted out of the building.

“You can’t stand for civil rights while looking the other way and confirming these judicial nominees who refuse to affirm Brown v. Board of Education,” said Christopher Kang, Chief Counsel of Demand Justice. “This is a clear litmus test, and too many Senators––of both parties––are failing.”

The Senate has confirmed nearly two dozen Trump nominees for lifetime judgeships who refused to say whether Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided. Sen. Tillis has supported all of them––on the heels of his steadfast backing last year of Trump judicial nominee Thomas Farr, of North Carolina, who was rejected for his role in voter suppression of African Americans. Sen. Collins has supported all but one of the Brown deniers. But the group also is calling out Democrats for continuing to support these judges. Senators Carper, Coons, Feinstein, Kaine, King, Leahy, Murphy, and Warner have the worst records among those from blue states. 

Brown v Board of Education was a turning point in American history, spurring numerous advances in civil rights. Embedded in the decision was the promise to move beyond the soiled legacy of segregation and exclusion toward a future where communities of color would be guaranteed the same freedoms as White communities. The refusal by some judicial nominees to say that Brown was correctly decided sends a dangerous signal to all Americans – particularly Black and Brown communities across the country who are already under attack by this administration. All those who seek a lifetime appointment on our federal courts should affirm Brown. Failure to do so should be disqualifying,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison, Co-Executive Director and Network President of CPD Action. “We won’t back down on Brown. And neither should they!”

The action is part of a week-long national mobilization happening through Friday, September 13. People from across the country -- including communities of color, immigrants, those with critical healthcare needs, and criminal justice defenders -- are in Washington D.C. to welcome Members of Congress back from August recess and encourage them to legislate a progressive agenda this Fall. The actions, organized by the CPD Action, will address a broad range of issues, from immigration justice to workers’ rights, universal healthcare to affordable housing, climate justice to justice transformation. It launches 

CPD Action’s first federal agenda, outlining the network of community organization’s policy priorities going into 2020.


For more information, contact Trisa Taro, ttaro@populardemocracy.org