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SPLC Celebrates Historic Appointment of Nancy Abudu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit 

Abudu becomes first African American woman to serve on the 11th Circuit 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate made history today by confirming Nancy Abudu to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Abudu is now the first African American woman, second woman of color, and only the third African American from Georgia to serve as judge on the circuit court. The circuit has appellate jurisdiction over federal cases originating in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.  

“Today’s historic Senate confirmation of Nancy Abudu to the 11th Circuit affirms what we have always known — that Nancy is an extraordinarily qualified and experienced jurist who is committed to the U.S. Constitution and upholding the fundamental rights of all people,” said Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center and SPLC Action Fund. “She has a brilliant legal mind and will bring the fairness and intellectual rigor this judgeship demands.”  

“Nancy is highly respected throughout the 11th Circuit for her legal acumen and extensive experience litigating cases as a staff attorney for the circuit,” continued Huang. “She has always commanded the respect of the judges and opposing counsel across the political spectrum.”  

“From Nancy Abudu to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, we celebrate this movement toward a judiciary that is diverse in background and professional experience — and we urge the Senate to continue advancing historic nominees, especially civil rights attorneys, and filling vacancies across the federal court system,” added Huang. “We know that justice is best served when we have judges at every level who reflect and represent our multiracial democracy. With Nancy’s confirmation, the people of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia can count on her integrity and fierce commitment to equal justice under the law.”  

Most recently, Nancy Abudu was the director of strategic litigation at the SPLC, leading a team of legal and technical experts to advance a wide array of civil and human rights issues. She established the SPLC voting rights practice group — a team dedicated to strengthening our democracy and protecting the voting rights of communities of color and other disenfranchised groups. Throughout her career, Abudu has litigated a variety of civil rights cases in federal and state courts, including challenging state felon disenfranchisement and proof of citizenship and voter photo ID laws and defending people with disabilities, religious freedom, and access to health care.