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Biden nominee equated ‘proof of citizenship’ with ‘voter suppression,’ likened felon voting ban to slavery


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One of President Biden’s judicial nominees reportedly disparaged various voting restrictions in the United States, including by comparing slavery to the ban on felons voting and “proof of citizenship” to “voter suppression.”

“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,” attorney Nancy Gbana Abudu said in a post for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

“And without access to the ballot, a victim of the system cannot elect the very officials pulling the levers to hire the police, determine which cases are prosecuted and what sentences are imposed.”

Nancy Abudu, President Biden's appellate nominee for the 11th Circuit, discusses the death penalty in Florida. (South Florida PBS/YouTube)

Nancy Abudu, President Biden’s appellate nominee for the 11th Circuit, discusses the death penalty in Florida. (South Florida PBS/YouTube)
(South Florida PBS/YouTube)

Those comments and others were unearthed by the Daily Wire after the White House announced it was nominating Abudu to serve as an appellate judge.

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Abudu currently works at the left-wing SPLC and previously served as senior staff counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). While at the ACLU, she told The Post and Courier that “95 percent of my work is in voting rights.”

She added: “Obviously, we do a lot when it comes to voter suppression, which includes five priority areas: photo ID, proof of citizenship, restrictions we see when it comes to registration … early voting as well as absentee voting and the restrictions we see when it comes to criminal convictions. We also do a lot with student voting.”

Former President Trump has long referred to his political rival as "Sleepy" Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Former President Trump has long referred to his political rival as “Sleepy” Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SPLC and the White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.

On Dec. 23, Biden pointed to Abudu’s nomination as part of “the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.”

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If confirmed, Abudu would be the first person of color to serve on the Eleventh Circuit from Georgia, the White House said.

Her nomination comes as the administration and congressional Democrats have placed an emphasis on voting rights and alleged “suppression” in Republican-led states. Georgia, where Abudu would serve as a judge, was a focal point for this debate as the state encountered scrutiny for its handling of the 2018 and 2020 elections.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 file photo, Fulton County Georgia. election chief Richard Barron talks to reporters as workers scan ballots during a presidential recount in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 file photo, Fulton County Georgia. election chief Richard Barron talks to reporters as workers scan ballots during a presidential recount in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)
(AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

Biden’s DOJ targeted Georgia this year, alleging the state’s recent election law violated the Voting Rights Act and engaged in racial discrimination. Biden decried the law as “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” The administration filed a similar lawsuit against Texas last month.

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Abudu, in August, urged the Senate to pass federal legislation – the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – while using similar arguments surrounding race.

“As HR 4 moves to the Senate, some senators have already committed to doing everything in their power to oppose the bill – up to and including leveraging a legislative tool popular with pro-Jim Crow senators of the past – to prevent its passage and to further erode the fundamental right to vote,” she wrote.



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