On a press call Monday, civil rights advocates urged the U.S. Senate to reject Cory Wilson’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The full Senate will vote on his confirmation tomorrow.

To hear a recording of the call, click here.

Speakers on the call voiced their opposition to Wilson, saying in part:

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.): “I oppose the nomination of Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. We do not need another partisan conservative on the bench. Wilson will not protect the rights of African Americans and other minorities. He has written, worked, and voted in support of laws that have the necessary effect of suppressing minorities’ right to vote – most notably by supporting voter ID laws. He also has derided federal efforts to ensure everyone, including minorities, has the right to vote. Furthermore, his opposition of the Affordable Care Act is abhorrent. Wilson’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit is unconscionable but it aptly fulfills the Trump conservative agenda of rolling back the rights of minorities.”

NOTE: Congressman Thompson was unable to join the call, but provided this statement for the record

LaShawn Warren, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: “Trump and McConnell are not acting with any sense of urgency to the address the COVID-19 pandemic nor the murder of Mr. Floyd and countless other Black people by police officers. Instead, they are doubling down on creating a judiciary they hope dismantles hard-fought civil rights protections. Historically, the Fifth Circuit has played a critical role in ensuring the implementation of key civil rights laws, and Wilson’s nomination threatens to undermine that history. Wilson’s record, anti-civil rights rhetoric, hostility to voting rights, and lack of experience and temperament make him ill-equipped to assess facts fairly and render impartial decisions in cases that involve our civil and human rights. Cory Wilson’s nomination is an affront to our civil rights legacy. Mississippians – and all of us – deserve better. Senators must reject Wilson’s nomination.”

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP: “Cory Wilson belongs nowhere near the Mississippi seat on the Fifth Circuit, where voting rights are always on the docket. His nomination is patently offensive to Black Mississippians who have struggled long and hard for the right to vote. Wilson crafted and defended voter ID laws, denied voter suppression exists, and criticized those who enforce the Voting Rights Act. Wilson is utterly incapable of dispensing equal justice to millions of Black and Brown residents of the Fifth Circuit. Even Mitch McConnell’s Senate should reject this nomination.”

Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League: “The nomination of a right-wing radical who is hostile to civil rights and the concept of equality under the law is a disgrace to any federal court but sadly consistent with the legacy of the Southern District of Mississippi and many of the judges elevated to the Fifth Circuit judges from the state.   Cory Wilson is a party operative and a staunch ideologue, and has no business serving on any federal bench.”

Lisa Cylar Barrett, Director of Policy, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.: “Cory Wilson’s level of experience is woefully lacking to support a nomination to the federal bench. His expressed views and statements leave little room to believe that he could rule without bias and prejudice, or demonstrate the impartiality and respect for rule of law necessary to serve as a federal judge. Instead of advancing a nominee who makes light of voter suppression, the Senate should instead be working to ensure that everyone is able to safely exercise their right to vote as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which has just further exposed and exacerbated racial inequities in this country.”


Release from Congressman Bennie Thompson and the Leadership Conference.