CHLP Joins Letter Urging Nomination of Individuals with Disabilities to Federal Bench

judge's gavel on a wooden desk

CHLP is one of 90+ organizations endorsing the "CCD Rights and Allies" sign-on letter that the Bazelon Center drafted and that was sent on Monday, December 6, 2021 to all Senate offices urging Senators to recommend candidates living with disabilities for judicial nominations. 

As Bazelon underscored, there has been a chronic shortage of people with disabilities recommended as candidates for federal court appointments. Much of the problem rests with Senators, who are not sending up candidates with disabilities in the slates they recommend to the White House for district court seats. This is not for lack of candidates. A number of highly qualified candidates with disabilities have been interviewed by Senators or Senators' screening committees, yet not one has been recommended to the White House for nomination.

Who sits on the bench has a huge impact on how laws are interpreted and applied. Federal disability nondiscriminataion laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), have been the only legal recourse for scores of people living with HIV in states that do not fully protect those with disabilities. At present, there are only a handful of judges on the federal bench who identify as people with disabilities.

And so disability rights lawyers, headed by the Bazelon Center, decided it was time to say something. And you can do something too--by calling your U.S. Senators and letting them know that the appointment of highly qualified lawyers with disabilities to the federal courts is an issue that matters.

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