NLADA Statement in Response to Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

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Release Date: 
Friday, June 30, 2023

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2023) – National Legal Aid & Defender Association President & CEO April Frazier Camara issued the following statement in response to the rulings concluding the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022-23 term:

Numerous Supreme Court decisions this term have set America on a path that is less just and less equitable, removed important tools to address and prevent discrimination, and materially disadvantage low-income people. These decisions will encourage those who seek to undo the progress of the civil rights movement and further erode efforts to advance racial equity and socioeconomic advancement for under-resourced communities.

This week, the Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in education rolled back decades of gains in creating equal opportunities for people of color. In addition, the decision to block student loan forgiveness will further cement existing economic inequality distributed to communities of color. Both rulings substantially increase the challenges to creating diverse pipelines of advocates in public defense and civil legal aid.

The Court also ruled that businesses can discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. This decision will facilitate further marginalization of individuals who already experience exclusion and disparate treatment. Its earlier ruling that a person incarcerated cannot challenge their conviction despite legal innocence also undermines our fundamental concepts of justice and liberty.

These decisions roll back basic protections in society for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other vulnerable communities to Jim Crow-era standards and will harm the communities that we serve. Despite these rulings, we will continue fighting for freedom over oppression and reaffirm our commitment to advancing equity and justice for all.


For more information about NLADA, contact Rabiah Alicia Burks, Vice President of Communications and Team Building, by email at [email protected].


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America's oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state, and local levels, playing a leadership role in the creation of public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training, and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.