- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Nancy Gbana Abudu, President Biden’s nominee for the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, came under fire Tuesday from the Family Research Council and 52 other conservative leaders and groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s deputy legal director is a “radical activist” who “clearly lacks the temperament to hold a life-time appointment to be a federal judge,” the groups wrote.

The Washington Times learned exclusively of the FRC-led appeal to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the panel’s ranking Republican.

The SPLC was cited as having motivated an August 15, 2012, shooting attack at the Family Research Council’s G Street headquarters by Floyd Lee Corkins II.

A security guard was injured in the incident. Corkins, currently serving a 25-year federal prison term on three felony charges including a terrorism offense, said the SPLC’s “hate group map” led him to target the FRC.

Ms. Abudu joined the SPLC in early 2019.

The letter was signed by retired Army Lt.-Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the FRC’s executive vice president, and such conservative activists as Gary L. Bauer of American Values; Tim Wildmon and Sandy Rios of the American Family Association; Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute; and Frank Wright of D. James Kennedy Ministries.

Mr. Wright’s group last month asked the Supreme Court to hear its defamation case against the SPLC.

Founded in 1971 by Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr., the Southern Poverty Law Center says it is “a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond.”

Critics, including former employees such as journalist Bob Moser, slammed the organization in 2019 after Mr. Dees was fired over abuse allegations. Writing in The New Yorker magazine, Mr. Moser called the group’s luxurious Birmingham, Alabama, headquarters the “Poverty Palace,” and said he and his coworkers “were part of the con, and we knew it.”

Ms. Abudu joined the SPLC amidst accusations of a “toxic racial and sexual climate” at the organization that ultimately led to the firings of Mr. Dees and SPLC president Richard Cohen.

The letter states that “Abudu’s acceptance of a senior litigation management role inside America’s largest political defamation factory disqualifies her from any position in which she would be expected to serve as an impartial arbiter of facts and law.”

The Washington Times has reached out to the Justice Department, the White House and the SPLC for comment.

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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