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National Civil Rights Groups Are Holding An “Emergency” SCOTUS Briefing

The agenda is so far unknown.

Posted on July 10, 2018, at 10:46 p.m. ET

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

National civil rights leaders will hold a national conference call — dubbed an “Emergency SCOTUS Briefing” — two days after President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, three sources with knowledge of the briefing said.

The groups include the National Action Network, the National Urban League, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“National civil rights leaders from the six top organizations will brief activists, community leaders, and advocates on the current vacancy in the US Supreme Court left by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s departure and the nomination for that seat,” read an invitation that was provided to BuzzFeed News.

The groups have been on high alert ever since Trump won the 2016 election, certain that as president he would begin to roll back civil rights protections. That alert went completely off the rails when Trump nominated then-senator Jeff Sessions to lead the Justice Department. The Supreme Court nomination process has lent a new urgency to those sorts of calls: On June 28, the groups urged “citizens of good conscience” to contact their representatives in the US Senate.

“The only just and responsible option for the U.S. Senate at this moment is to delay any vote on confirming a replacement for Justice Kennedy until after a new Congress is seated,” the email read. “During this time of escalating crises, citizens must have the opportunity to decide who will advise and consent to the nominee of a deeply divisive Chief Executive."

It’s not exactly clear what’s on the agenda for Wednesday, and Democrats really have very limited options when it comes to preventing Kavanaugh’s confirmation — or that of any other Trump nominee to the court — without control of the Senate.

Still, the groups believe there’s a chance. They warned: “This is an extraordinary time in American history, which calls for extraordinary measures. The Senate is divided by a single vote. The need for a strong system of checks and balances has seldom been greater.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.