People For the American Way

Kristen Clarke is the Civil Rights Champion We Need at the Department of Justice

News and Analysis
Kristen Clarke is the Civil Rights Champion We Need at the Department of Justice

This post was updated on May 17, 2021.

Kristen Clarke, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, has spent her career fighting for justice for people facing discrimination. Now, the far right is launching baseless attacks against her in an attempt to sink her nomination.

Kristen Clarke is the civil rights champion we need at the Department of Justice. It’s time to make her fight our fight.

Kristen’s Civil Rights Record is Unimpeachable

Kristen Clarke started her career at the very department she’s now been nominated to lead: the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted civil rights violations and investigated police misconduct, hate crimes, and human trafficking. Later, she led the Civil Rights Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s office, where she continued her work fighting for people who were being discriminated against.

It was at the New York Attorney General’s office that she helped the women of Consolidated Edison, one of the largest energy companies in the United States, win a critical fight to hold the company accountable for sexual harassment and discrimination against its women workers. Susan Kartell, who worked at ConEd for 26 years, told us how much it meant to her and the women of ConEd to have Kristen fighting for them.

Now, Kristen is the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she has fought to protect the voting rights of people of color, stood up for victims of hate crimes, and worked to advance the goal of equal justice for all.

Kristen helped the family of Second Lieutenant Richard Collins III in their fight for justice. Lieutenant Collins was a young Black college student who was murdered by a man with known ties to white supremacist organizations. When the murderer couldn’t be held accountable under Maryland’s incredibly restrictive hate crime law, Kristen helped the family in their fight to get the hate crime law in Maryland changed. Watch the family talk about Kristen’s role in their fight for justice.

Kristen has dedicated her life and her career to the pursuit of justice. Her experience and expertise make her the perfect nominee for this position.

The Far Right’s Attacks on Kristen Clarke Are Baseless

The far right has thrown attack after attack at Kristen Clarke. Tucker Carlson tried to claim she “hates white people.” Sen. Mike Lee attempted to paint her as anti-Semitic – a charge that Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is Jewish, was quick to shut down.  At her hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz tried to twist her words about where she stands on police reform to accuse her of lying.

Watch Right Wing Watch Director Adele Stan explain the “bizarre” attack Sen. Ted Cruz launched against Kristen at the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on her nomination.

These attacks are obviously and patently false. Kristen Clarke has spent her career as a champion for people facing discrimination – and we know she will do just that if confirmed to lead the Civil Rights Division.

At the hearing, Senator Cory Booker beautifully explained why we need to confirm Kristen Clarke.

 

People For the American Way’s #HerFightOurFight campaign is working to confirm women of color like Kristen who are working to make our democracy work for all of us. Learn more about the campaign here.

Take Action: Tell Your Senators to Confirm Kristen Clarke

Kristen Clarke has spent her career fighting for equal justice for all. Now, we need to make her fight, our fight. Add your name today to tell your senators: confirm Kristen Clarke to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of justice.