National Consortium on Racial & Ethnic Fairness in the Courts
July 28, 2020
The National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (“National Consortium”) Board of Directors recently adopted a Resolution supporting the removal of Confederate monuments and symbols from public spaces in and around judicial facilities and courthouses across the United States, its territories and tribal nations. The Resolution came at the request of NC CRED co-founder and Board Chair, James Williams, who also serves on the board of the National Consortium.
“The monuments honoring the Confederate South reflect a system of inhumanity and oppression imposed upon Black people during and after slavery and are a constant reminder of prejudice, hate, and racism against black and brown people. Their presence outside courthouses and centers of government power is inherently incompatible with a judiciary that should be dedicated to the Constitutional assurance of justice and equality for all,” says Judge Susan F. Maven, president of the National Consortium Board.
R E S O L U T I O N
On the Removal of Confederate Monuments from Judiciary Spaces
WHEREAS, the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (“National Consortium”) was established in 1988 to support the efforts of state courts around the country to promote a court system that is fair to all and free of racial and ethnic bias, and
WHEREAS, the National Consortium membership is comprised of state and tribal court task forces, commissions, and individuals advocating for impartial and fair treatment of all court users regardless of race or ethnicity, and these members and the National Consortium Board of Directors are dedicated to finding evidence-based remedies to redress racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system; and
WHEREAS, the National Consortium supports proponents who advocate for the removal of Confederate monuments from courthouses and judiciary-operated facilities. These tributes were erected to honor Confederate soldiers, officers and leaders who defended state’s rights and an economic system in the South that relied on the enslavement and exploitation of black people. As such, the Confederate monuments, demonstrative reminders of racism and white
supremacy, celebrate a historical political ideology of racial segregation and oppression which the National Consortium deems unacceptable and reprehensible; and
WHEREAS, such markers and symbols of inhumanity positioned outside courthouses and centers of government power are a constant reminder of prejudice, hate and racism against black and brown people, and therefore, are inherently incompatible with a judiciary that should be dedicated to the Constitutional assurance of justice and equality under the law; and,
WHEREAS, people of color have expressed outrage and offense at having to pass these monuments as they enter courthouses in their communities to obtain services as court users, or to perform their civic duty on a jury, and thereby, are confronted with the duplicitous public message that tends to both invite the public into the “Halls of Justice,” but at the same time intimidate and discourage some from their rightful entitlement to full access and fair treatment in the judicial system; and,
WHEREAS, public demonstrations denouncing the continued presence of racist Confederate monuments in judiciary spaces constitute legitimate public concerns, the National Consortium implores the judiciary and government to exercise its authority to take such actions as are necessary to enhance the public’s trust and confidence in the judiciary, and to preserve the constitutional rights of all people to equal access and justice under the law.
NOW THEREFORE, the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts on this 15th day of July 2020, calls upon the leaders of the highest courts in each state, tribal nation and territory, and related commissions and task forces to:
- review and catalog all Confederate monuments and markers displayed at courthouses
and judicial offices within their jurisdiction, and document the history of those monuments; and,
- take action resulting in the immediate removal of all Confederate monuments, memorials, flags, plaques, and other symbols and markers of racism and white supremacy, from all public spaces on, around, or within all property upon which courthouses or judicial offices of any kind are located.
The Honorable Susan F. Maven
President and Moderator
H. Clifton Grandy, Esq.
Secretary/Treasurer and Coordinator