Civil Rights Groups Support Sen. Durbin for Top Senate Judiciary Spot

Civil Rights Groups Support Sen. Durbin for Top Senate Judiciary Spot

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, a coalition of leading civil rights groups sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) supporting the bid of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to be the leading Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The groups—which include Muslim Advocates, NAACP, United We Dream, Japanese American Citizens League and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action—say Sen. Durbin’s long history of defending civil rights for vulnerable communities make him an ideal candidate for the position.

For American Muslims in particular, Durbin has long been a champion of their civil rights. In 2011, then-Rep. Peter King (R-NY), held the first in a series of congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, the first-ever hearing targeting people because of their faith. In response, Durbin—as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights Subcommittee—convened the first-ever congressional hearing on the civil rights of Muslims. 

Additionally, Durbin held a historic hearing on the threat of far-right extremist violence, is a lead sponsor of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and has been an invaluable congressional leader on issues such as police violence, immigration and more.

“We know Senator Durbin will be a champion for justice as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee because he was a champion for us,” said Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera. “When even members of Congress were openly attacking our community, he bravely came to our defense and chaired the first-ever congressional hearing on the civil rights of Muslims. Sen. Durbin’s long record of championing civil rights makes him the best person to continue that fight on the Judiciary Committee.”

“It is imperative that the Democratic leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee have a proven track record of leadership on civil and human rights so that the Committee can hit the ground running in 2021,” stated the letter. “We strongly believe Senator Durbin is the right person for this critical role.”

The letter was signed by:

  • Muslim Advocates
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  • Arab American Institute (AAI)
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  • Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
  • Emgage Action
  • Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE)
  • Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
  • Sikh Coalition
  • United We Dream

Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.