Biden’s Nom For DOJ Civil Rights Head Faces Contentious Confirmation Hearing

April 14, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing discussing hate crimes and the ri... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing discussing hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism on Capitol Hill on April 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. Internet companies have come under fire recently for allowing hate groups on their platforms. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 14, 2021

The Senate Judiciary Committee is hosting a confirmation hearing for Kristen Clarke, President Biden’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. If her nomination is approved by the Senate, Clarke’s ascent to the helm of the division — where she started her legal career as a line attorney — would be historic, as she would be the first Black woman confirmed to the role.

Most recently, she led the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which was on the vanguard in the legal fight against several Trump-era policies. However, Clarke’s dedicated and prominent career as a civil rights attorney has made her a target of the right and Wednesday’s hearing is expected to be a contentious one. 

Clarke is testifying alongside Todd Kim, Biden’s nominee to lead the DOJ’s  Environment And Natural Resources Division. Follow along below.

A Background That's Made Clarke A Leader In The Civil Rights World And A Target Of The Right

  • Most recently, Clarke led the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which was on the vanguard in the legal fight against several Trump-era policies. 
  • She also for a time headed the civil rights division of the New York Attorney General’s office, and before that, did a stint at the NAACP Education and Legal Defense Fund.
  • Conservative activists have spread misleading characterizations of her writing as a college student at Harvard, and have also scrutinized the speaking invitation Harvard’s Black Student association extended to an academic with anit-Semitic views. (Since her nomination was announced, Clarke has apologized for inviting the academic, who was asked to speak on campus because of his criticism of the controversial book “The Bell Curve.”)
  • Some Republican senators on the committee have already parroted the smears.
  • Watch live at C-SPAN.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee is hosting a confirmation hearing for Kristen Clarke, President Biden’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. If her nomination is approved by the Senate, Clarke’s ascent to the helm of the division — where she started her legal career as a line attorney — would be historic, as she would be the first Black woman confirmed to the role.

Most recently, she led the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which was on the vanguard in the legal fight against several Trump-era policies. However, Clarke’s dedicated and prominent career as a civil rights attorney has made her a target of the right and Wednesday’s hearing is expected to be a contentious one. 

Clarke is testifying alongside Todd Kim, Biden’s nominee to lead the DOJ’s  Environment And Natural Resources Division. Follow along below.

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