Biden judicial nominee once declared ‘proof of citizenship’ is ‘voter suppression'

The nominee also compared laws preventing felons from voting to "slavery."

Updated: January 3, 2022 - 12:01am

A Southern Poverty Law Center's deputy legal director who said photo ID and proof of citizenship constitute "voter suppression" is now a judicial nominee for President Joe Biden.

The candidate, Nancy Gbana Abudu, also worked at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 2005 to 2019. She was nominated by Biden last month to serve as a judge for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers parts of Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

During a 2011 interview rediscovered by The Daily Wire, Abudu said 95% of her work at the ACLU focused on voting rights, and asking for identification and proof of citizenship are some of the areas of "voter suppression" she focuses on.

Describing her position as ACLU senior staff counsel to The Post and Courier, she said: "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."

"I think where we’ve seen the biggest moment [in voter suppression] really has been in photo ID," she told the local Charleston, S.C., paper.

She later compared laws banning felons from voting 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," she wrote for the Southern Poverty Law Center in June 2020, adding, "We’re also working on a vote-from-jail project that will increase access to the polls for people who are incarcerated but still eligible to cast a ballot."

In March 2021, Abudu compared Georgia's election integrity law to voter suppression in the 1960s Jim Crow South

"We’re seeing renewed efforts – by politicians who want to retain power – to decrease the number of people who are eligible to vote and the number of people who are able to register and vote" through the law's voter ID requirements, she wrote.

Abudu wrote in August 2021 about her support for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4) and abolishing the filibuster.

She said that some Republican lawmakers are utilizing measures used by "pro-Jim Crow senators of the past" to prevent HR 4 from passing and "to further erode the fundamental right to vote."

She added that to "protect the future of American democracy, the Senate may need to make the body majority-rule by abolishing the filibuster. So be it. The danger of not doing so is far too significant for our nation and generations to come."

If confirmed, Abudu would also make several firsts on the court. According to the White House memo announcing her nomination, she "would be the first African-American woman judge ever to sit on the Eleventh Circuit, the second woman of color ever to sit on that court, and only the third African-American judge ever to sit on that court. She would also be the first person of color to serve on the Eleventh Circuit from Georgia."

The Senate confirmed 40 Biden-nominated judges in 2021, more than twice the number of federal judicial vacancies filled by former President Donald Trump during his first year.