For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 13, 2021
Clarke must now be confirmed swiftly by the full Senate
Washington, DC — Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on the nomination of Kristen Clarke, a longtime civil rights leader and President Biden’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“Today, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee doubled down on their bad-faith attacks against Kristen Clarke in an attempt to tank her confirmation. Clarke is an experienced, principled, and adept leader who has spent her entire career fighting for justice and the onslaught of right-wing attacks against her are rooted in blatant sexism and racism. As state lawmakers escalate their attacks on reproductive freedom, trans rights, and the freedom to vote, it is more urgent than ever that we have leaders like Clarke at the Justice Department who will fight tirelessly for our most fundamental rights and freedoms, including reproductive freedom. The full Senate must swiftly advance the nomination of Kristen Clarke.”
Republican politicians launched a racist smear campaign in an attempt to tank Kristen Clarke’s confirmation—using tactics similar to those they employed to attack several other women of color nominated by President Biden. These attacks against Clarke are part of the Right’s desperate attempt to thwart progress and advance their agenda of power and control.
Clarke’s nomination is historic. She would be the first woman ever confirmed to lead the Civil Rights Division and the first Black woman to hold the post. Clarke is a champion for civil rights and justice, and her qualifications, leadership, and commitment to protecting and fighting for our well-being and fundamental rights are clear.
The Justice Department can play a key role in protecting and advancing reproductive freedom by:
- Demonstrating a commitment to core constitutional protections, including the legal right to abortion
- Combating violence and discrimination against reproductive healthcare providers, patients, and staff
- Enforcing federal civil rights and nondiscrimination laws that have a serious impact on the lives and legal rights of women, people with low incomes, people of color, LGBTQ people, young people, immigrants, Indigenous people, and all marginalized people
- Enforcing federal laws that have a significant impact on reproductive and civil rights, including Title VII, Title IX, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and the Affordable Care Act
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.