WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after voting to confirm Kristen Clarke as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Clarke is a veteran of two of the Civil Rights Division’s sections, served as the chief civil rights official for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and led one of the nation’s preeminent civil rights organizations. She will be the first Black woman confirmed to lead the Civil Rights Division.
“Kristen Clarke is exactly the right person to lead and reinvigorate the Civil Rights Division. After four years of the Trump administration hollowing out this Division and one year after the murder of George Floyd, we need Clarke in this role.
“Our country still has so much work to do to achieve equal justice under the law and confront the policies and systems that prop up and propel racism. We are witnessing a rise in hate crimes, attacks on voting rights, and long-running, persistent bias across our entire justice system. We need a strong and respected leader at the Department of Justice to effectively take on these mounting challenges.
“Kristen Clarke will bring a proven track record to the Department of Justice. I am confident that she will reaffirm our nation’s commitment to civil rights, stand up against discrimination, and champion the rights of all Americans.”
Since 2016, Clarke has been the President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Clarke has also worked as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a career attorney in the Justice Department in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney detailee in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.