April 14, 2021

Durbin: Clarke and Kim are the Leaders DOJ Needs for Critical Divisions

Kristen Clarke is Nominee for Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Todd Kim is Nominee for Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered his opening statement during the nominations hearing for Kristen Clarke to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and Todd Kim to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). In it, Durbin said that Clarke and Kim are experienced leaders who can restore integrity and independence to the Department of Justice, take partisan politics out of the Department’s work, and faithfully execute the law.

Key quotes:

“These are key positions in the Department of Justice. And once confirmed, these nominees will play a critical role working with Attorney General Garland and other senior Department leaders to restore the Department’s independence and integrity, take partisan politics out of the Department’s work, and faithfully execute the law.”

“And so, after four years of a Civil Rights Division hollowed out by the Justice Department’s own leaders—we find ourselves in desperate need of restored leadership, of a bold vision for returning the Division to its founding ideals, of a renewed commitment to enforcing the nation’s civil rights laws. And fortunately, in Kristen Clarke, we have exactly the kind of leader who can accomplish this ambitious mission.”

“From prosecuting hate crimes and human trafficking in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, to protecting voting rights at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, to tackling employment discrimination as the chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Clarke has steadfastly pursued an objective that sadly remains elusive even today—equal justice for all.”

“What ENRD needs now is someone who will bring back integrity, stability, and a renewed commitment to enforcing our nation’s environmental and natural resources laws.  Todd Kim is that person…Whether representing the U.S. government under the Clinton and Bush Administrations, the D.C. government, or clients in private practice, Mr. Kim has focused on the law, not politics.”

“Throughout his career, Mr. Kim has been recognized for his integrity, his humility, his deep knowledge base, and his understanding of what it means to serve as an officer of the court and representing the people of the United States. He has all the qualities this nation needs to lead the Environment and Natural Resources Division.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations. 

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