Kristen Clarke, First Black Woman to Lead DOJ Civil Rights Division and Only One Republican Voted for Her

by | May 26, 2021 | Racism (Us vs Them)

Kristen Clarke testifies during a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on July 22, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kristen Clarke, First Black Woman to Lead DOJ Civil Rights Division and Only One Republican Voted for Her

by | May 26, 2021 | Racism (Us vs Them)

Kristen Clarke testifies during a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on July 22, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
In a 51-48 vote on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Senate confirmed Kristen Clarke as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, making the longtime progressive legal advocate the first Black woman to lead the division founded in 1957.

Republished with permission from Common Dreams.

In a 51-48 vote on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Senate confirmed Kristen Clarke as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, making the longtime progressive legal advocate the first Black woman to lead the division founded in 1957.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the lone Republican senator to vote to confirm Clarke, who served for the past five years as the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit organization that advocates for equal justice.

Clarke’s colleagues at the Lawyers’ Committee celebrated Tuesday’s historic confirmation of the group’s former leader.

“With today’s confirmation of Kristen Clarke as assistant attorney general for civil rights, civil rights enforcement will once again be a top priority for the Department of Justice,” Damon Hewitt, acting president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee, said in a statement.

“All people nationwide can be confident that we now have a civil rights leader who will enforce federal laws that protect us from discrimination and defend constitutional rights,” Hewitt continued. “Having known Kristen for more than two decades and most recently serving as her top deputy, I know she is exactly the person we need at this moment when threats to civil rights have peaked.”

Hewitt added that Clarke “has extensive experience protecting the fundamental right to vote and prosecuting hate crimes, and is a proven consensus builder who will be pushing institutions to change while making them stronger. Kristen’s work will help to make the promise of equal justice for all a reality.”

The Lawyers’ Committee described Clarke’s “extraordinary record of protecting civil rights.”

“For nearly 20 years, she has worked at our nation’s leading civil rights legal and advocacy organizations, and led the Civil Rights Bureau at the New York Attorney General’s office,” the group noted, adding that during her time leading the Lawyers’ Committee, the organization “filed more than 250 lawsuits to protect voting rights, advance equal educational opportunity, defend victims of hate crimes, support fair housing, and def[y]modern-day segregation.”

Clarke’s confirmation was also praised by Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 U.S.-based social justice organizations.

“This is an historic, important moment for our nation as Kristen Clarke becomes the first woman, and notably, the first Black woman, confirmed to lead the Civil Rights Division,” said Henderson. “In this crucial role, Clarke will no doubt continue her lifelong commitment fighting tirelessly for equal justice under the law for every individual in this country, including people of color facing racial and sex discrimination, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities targeted because of their faith.”

“The Justice Department,” Henderson added, “is in superb hands as it continues to restore its role as chief enforcer of our civil rights.”

<a href="http://commondreams.org" target="_blank">Common Dreams</a>

Common Dreams

Common Dreams has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997. They are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

May 17 2022

Fact Hero: James Bode, Lyft Driver

When confronted with racist passengers, Lyft driver James Bode immediately did the right thing. And recorded the entire incident.
May 15 2022

The Deadly Social Poison of White Supremacist Nationalism

White supremacist nationalism is deadly and increasingly normalized by one of our political parties and a major TV network.
May 10 2022

Investigation Shows that Right Wing Extremists Are Training Some of Our Police Officers

Reuters identified five law enforcement trainers who have been hired by police and sheriffs’ departments nationwide despite their support for right-wing militia...
May 03 2022

Harriet Tubman Did More than Rescue Slaves, She Was Also a Soldier and Spy

During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman put aside her fight against slavery to conduct combat as a soldier and spy for the United States Army.
macro photography of silver and black studio microphone condenser
Apr 27 2022

The Demise of the Fairness Doctrine and the Rise of Hate and Racism

The removal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 opened the flood gates of “hate” broadcasting. The advent of the Internet and the ability to...
Apr 25 2022

The Republican Noise About “Parental Rights in Education” Isn’t What It Appears to Be

The real target of the noisy Republican propaganda campaigns against Disney, books and librarians to protect “parental rights” isn’t parents.
Apr 22 2022

Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Putin: The History of a Strategic Alliance

This Sunday Marine Le Pen will again try to win the presidency of France and perform the same service to Russia as Donald Trump did during his tenure in the U.S.
Apr 18 2022

The Connection Between Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine and What Remains of the Republican Party

The invasion of Ukraine by Putin shows what happens when one party and then one man gains control of a country. And Republicans want that kind of control here.
Apr 15 2022

Jackie Robinson Was a Republican, For a While Anyway

Jackie Robinson was a member of and an active campaigner for the Republican Party. But by 1968 he was done with the GOP, and became more active in the civil rights...
Apr 03 2022

Georgia Senate Votes to Bring Back Jim Crow By Forbidding the Teaching of Racial History

Just as non-existent election fraud has been used to pass voter suppression laws, Republicans are using their fear of critical race theory as an excuse to ban the...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This