May 18, 2021

Ahead of Motion to Discharge, Durbin Calls on Senate Republican to Support Kristen Clarke's Nomination to Lead DOJ Civil Rights Division

Durbin: Our country needs her mix of expertise, experience, and skills to ensure that the Civil Rights Division will again work on behalf of all Americans

WASHINGTON – Ahead of the vote to discharge from the Judiciary Committee the nomination of Kristen Clarke, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today called on his Republican colleagues to support her nomination.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin argued that Ms. Clarke is the ideal candidate to restore credibility at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.  The motion to discharge Ms. Clarke’s nomination from the Judiciary Committee was agreed to by a vote of 50-48.

“Ms. Clarke is the right person to restore credibility to the Civil Rights Division,” Durbin said.  “She is singularly qualified to head the Civil Rights Division at this moment.  She brings with her a wealth of expertise and experience needed to lead this division at this moment in history.”

Durbin also highlighted support for Ms. Clarke’s nomination from the law enforcement community.

“She also boasts broad, enthusiastic support from the law enforcement community.  Throughout her decades of civil rights work, 20 years of working in civil rights that included several years as a prosecutor, she has partnered closely with law enforcement.  Many of them have publicly endorsed her… She was fair, she was objective, she was a good partner in trying to resolve difficult issues,” Durbin said.

Durbin concluded, “The bottom line is this: Ms. Clarke is the right person to lead the Civil Rights Division… at this moment in history, our country needs her combination of expertise, experience, skills, and thoughtfulness to ensure the Civil Rights Division will again work for all Americans.”

Video of Durbin’s floor remarks is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor remarks is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor remarks is available here for TV Stations.

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Ms. Clarke’s nomination by a vote of 11-11.  Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer must file a discharge motion on Ms. Clarke’s nomination to place her on the executive calendar. 

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