The Issue:
On May 9, 2001, President George W. Bush has nominated Jeffrey S. Sutton, of Ohio, to serve on the Sixth circuit court of Appeals, which hears cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Mr. Sutton’s record as an attorney and as a director of the Federalist Society, a right-wing extremist legal association, raises significant concerns regarding his qualifications to be given a powerful lifetime appointment to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and particularly his ability to function as a neutral, effective and trustful judge. Mr. Sutton’s record shows him to be a leading proponent of “federalism” (or so-called “states rights”) theories that would restrict Congress’ power to pass civil, disability, and workers’ rights legislation, as well as environmental laws and would limit the ability of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities to seek redress for violations of those rights in federal court. In a recent Supreme Court case, Mr. Sutton argued that private citizens could not sue the state of Alabama under the 1964 Civil Rights Act for discriminatory actions against non-native English speakers. Mr. Sutton maintained that even if the state’s policy had the effect of discriminating, it was not illegal unless the plaintiff could prove that the state had enacted the regulations for the purpose of discriminating against non-native English speakers. Mr. Sutton argued that disabled Americans employed by the state cannot sue their employer for discriminating against them because of their disability. Mr. Sutton has also written an amicus brief on behalf of two states arguing before the Supreme Court that the part of the Violence Against Women Act allowing women to sue their attackers in federal court was unconstitutional.

The United States Senate is planning to bring the confirmation of Judge Sutton up for a vote in the very near future. The NAACP request that all citizens standing for justice and equality to contact your senators and urge that action is taken against Judge Sutton.

Columbus, OH NAACP Branch

233 South High Street, Ste. 207, Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 464-1108 FAX (614) 464-1328