Senate Confirms Kristen Clarke to Lead Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division

Cantwell: “We need to defend voting rights and to make sure that hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders are prosecuted.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate confirmed Kristen Clarke to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Clarke will be the first Black woman to hold this position at DOJ.

In April, Cantwell spoke at length in support of Ms. Clarke’s nomination on the Senate Floor:

“We need to have consent decrees to hold police departments accountable for systematic violations of constitutional rights. We need to defend voting rights and to make sure that hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders are prosecuted. And so this is why the nomination of Ms. Clarke is so important,” said Cantwell.

“As Attorney General and at the Lawyers Committee, Ms. Clarke played a key role in launching a Religious Rights Initiative to address faith-based discrimination to fight anti-Semitic activities and recognized that online hate is an emerging threat, and that Congress must address that threat. Ms. Clarke's expertise and dedication to fighting online hate would be extremely beneficial to the department and to all Americans.”

Cantwell added that Clarke would be instrumental in helping combat the surge of hate crimes that have been reported in the last year, including in the State of Washington.

I am tired of the violence and hate crimes in the State of Washington. I'm tired of hearing time and time again about these issues,” said Cantwell. “What we need is the support of our colleagues to say that these are serious issues and the federal government does play a role. That is why it's called the Department of Justice, and that is why they oversee and make sure that the civil liberties of all Americans are upheld…

We need to defend voting rights and to make sure that hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders are prosecuted. And so this is why the nomination of Ms. Clarke is so important. I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, if you are facing any of this in your state, please get Kristen Clarke to be there to help us address these issues.”

Video from Senator Cantwell’s remarks is available HERE, audio is available HERE, and the full transcript is available HERE.