RNLA Opposes the Nomination of Nancy Abudu to the Eleventh Circuit

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, the RNLA announced its opposition to the nomination of Nancy Abudu to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The text of the letter can be viewed below. For a PDF version, click here


April 27, 2022 


Senator Dick Durbin 
711 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20510


Senator Chuck Grassley 
135 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20510 


Re: Opposition to Nomination of Nancy Abudu to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 


The Republican National Lawyers Association (“RNLA”) urges you to oppose the nomination of Nancy Abudu to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. We oppose Ms. Abudu’s nomination because her views are extreme and fall outside of the mainstream. RNLA has only formally opposed one other judicial nominee made by the Biden Administration. [1] We oppose Ms. Abudu because her views and rhetoric go beyond that of even progressive activists, and we see no reason to believe that she will be an impartial judge on the “hot button” issue of election law. 


One example of her extremism is on the issue of violent felon voting. While reasonable parties can disagree on the issue, Ms. Abudu compared the loss of felons’ voting rights to slavery:


When you add laws that prohibit people with a criminal conviction from voting, it’s practically the same system as during slavery – Black people who have lost their freedom and cannot vote. [2]


Comparing the opposition to enfranchisement of convicted murders, rapists, and child molesters to supporting slavery is offensive to all but the most partisan activists. 


In the same vein, Ms. Abudu has asserted that commonsense election reforms amount to voter suppression. In a 2011 interview, Ms. Abudu told Charleston’s Post and Courier that fighting “photo ID” and “proof of citizenship” requirements were priority areas for combatting voter suppression. [3] She further emphasized her belief that “passing laws requiring voters to have photo IDs” was her biggest concern regarding voter suppression. [4] Even leading progressive voting rights advocate Stacey Abrahams has announced her support of voter ID, as has House Majority Whip James Clyburn. 


In 2020, Ms. Abudu likened senators who opposed Democrat-backed voting rights legislation and supported the use of the filibuster to “pro-Jim Crow senators of the past.” [5] 


In a 2021 op-ed for the Montgomery Advertiser, Ms. Abudu accused Alabama state officials of being “distressingly committed to the state’s legacy of voter suppression.” [6] As Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill explained in response, the opposite is true. Alabama has recently experienced record voter turnout and registration numbers in recent years. [7] 


What makes Ms. Abudu’s nomination even more troubling is she would likely oversee legal action in Georgia and other states over the modernization of their election laws. Liberal attacks on Georgia’s new voting laws that have been exposed as outright lies by the Washington Post, [8] and these laws have been proven to be well within the mainstream of American voting laws by groups such as the nonpartisan Lawyers Democracy Fund. [9]


RNLA prides itself on working for open fair and honest elections. RNLA has worked with liberals and conservatives toward this end. A key component of any such effort is a fair and impartial court system. Ms. Abudu has shown that she is not capable of impartiality and that her radical views are outside even the progressive mainstream on these issues. RNLA urges senators to oppose her nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit. 




David K. Bowsher
Michael Thielen
RNLA Executive Director



[1] https://www.rnla.org/rnla_opposes_the_nomination_of_myrna_perez_to_the_second_circuit

[2] https://www.splcenter.org/news/2020/06/12/57th-anniversary-medgar-evers-assassination-march-voting-rights-continues

[3] https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/q-a-aclu-attorney-nancy-abudu-focused-on-voting-rights/article_58b5d843-d8f3-5101-8db3-ef5613d44f1f.html

[4] Id.

[5] https://www.splcenter.org/news/2021/08/27/defending-democracy-splc-calls-senate-swiftly-pass-john-r-lewis-voting-rights-advancement

[6] https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/opinion/2020/04/27/former-confederate-capitals-take-very-different-paths-voting-rights/3033024001/

[7] https://www.sos.alabama.gov/newsroom/secretary-merrill-responds-inaccurate-montgomery-advertiser-op-ed-0

[8] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/03/30/biden-falsely-claims-new-georgia-law-ends-voting-hours-early/

[9] https://lawyersdemocracyfund.org/other-issues/state-spotlight/georgia/georgia-voting-law-fact-sheet/