Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Kristin Clarke as the U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Clarke will remain the president and executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and held prior positions at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Department of Justice. The Civil Rights Division was created as part of the 1957 Civil Rights Act and enforces federal anti-discrimination laws.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) made the following statement:
“I would like to congratulate Assistant Attorney General Clarke on her confirmation and am confident that she will lead the Civil Rights Division with the same vision, determination and commitment to justice that she has exemplified for her entire career. We can not have a just economy without equal access to the polls, protections against discrimination wherever it arises, and a deep commitment to working across government to hold our public and private institutions accountable. Her confirmation lays the groundwork for a robust civil rights agenda that will ensure that this commitment is fulfilled in the coming months and years.”
The Civil Rights Division works to enforce protections against discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, religion, familial status, national origin and citizenship status. The division has brought cases to protect voting rights, increase language access, and crack down on human trafficking and hate crimes.
The division has also worked to protect servicemembers from discrimination and job loss after returning from active duty and, in conjunction with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reached a landmark settlement that returned $80 million in damages to Black, Latino and Asian and Pacific Islander auto loan borrowers who faced discriminatory pricing.