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May 10, 2010

Black Women's Roundtable Statement on President Obama's Nomination for Supreme Court Justice

The Black Women’s Roundtable Statement on President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for US Supreme Court

Washington, DC - The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) issued the following statement about President Barack Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens:

As women leaders, we greatly respect Solicitor General Kagan’s intellectual capabilities and highly accomplished record in the Administration and academia. Nonetheless, Justice Stevens distinguished himself on the Supreme Court as a leader in protecting and defending civil rights. We look forward to learning more about the Solicitor General’s record as it relates to civil and women’s rights issues.

The Black Women’s Roundtable supports efforts to maintain a proper balance on the Supreme Court that protect the interests of all while simultaneously ensuring the Court is finally representative of all Americans in this society. Needless to say, we are disconcerted by the perceived lack of real consideration of any of the extremely qualified African American women as potential nominees.

As we have throughout history, African American women played a significant role in the 2008 election because we were especially aware of the impact this presidency would have for generations to come. As the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height, founding convener of BWR, stated in our previous meeting with the Administration, we believe it is time for African American women to be represented in all sectors of government – including the Supreme Court of the United States, which in its 221 year history has not had a Black woman nominated to serve on our highest court in the land.

The Black Women’s Roundtable network comprises an intergenerational membership of Black women civic leaders of international, national, regional and state-based organizations and institutions that works collectively to advance policies and strategic initiatives that help to improve the lives of underserved women and girls. BWR members work in a wide range of social justice, civic, corporate, labor, academic, women and youth organizations.

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