Kristen Clarke is the first Senate-confirmed woman of color to lead the Justice Dept.’s civil rights division.

The Senate on Tuesday voted to affirm Kristen Clarke to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division, making her the first woman of color to be confirmed by the Senate to accomplish that.

Ms. Clarke was ceremonially sworn in shortly earlier than 7 p.m. in a short ceremony at the Justice Department. Ms. Clarke’s mom, Pansy Clarke, held the Bible as Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of workplace.

Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered transient remarks. The deputy legal professional normal, Lisa O. Monaco, and the affiliate legal professional normal, Vanita Gupta, have been additionally in attendance.

Ms. Clarke’s affirmation comes at a time when the Biden administration has vowed to revitalize the division as half of its promise to fight systemic racism, hate crimes and restrictive voter legal guidelines.

Ms. Clarke was confirmed by a vote of 51 to 48, largely alongside social gathering traces. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, broke along with her social gathering to help Ms. Clarke’s affirmation. Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, didn’t vote.

A quantity of Republicans took to the Senate flooring to argue Ms. Clarke supported decreasing police division budgets. But Ms. Collins mentioned that she believed that Ms. Clarke wouldn’t help such efforts, after finding out Ms. Clark’s skilled document, together with her work as a prosecutor throughout the George W. Bush administration.

Ms. Collins mentioned that Ms. Clarke gave her a letter saying she was “committed to to ensuring that law enforcement officers have the resources that they need.”

The daughter of Jamaican immigrants who rose from a Brooklyn housing challenge to earn levels from Harvard and Columbia Law School, Ms. Clarke is finest generally known as a number one advocate for voting rights protections. Her experience will make her a key participant in the administration’s effort to push again on legal guidelines that might limit entry to the poll field.

During her affirmation listening to, Ms. Clarke, 46, mentioned that she would use all of the instruments at her disposal, together with the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Citizens Voting Act, to make sure that eligible Americans continued to have the proper to vote.

In supporting her nomination, Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chair of the Judiciary Committee, mentioned that Ms. Clarke was poised to turn into the first Senate-confirmed woman of color to lead the civil rights division on the one-year anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s homicide by the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

He mentioned that Ms. Clarke’s “breadth of experience defending the civil rights of all” made her “singularly qualified to lead this division, particularly at this moment in history.”

The civil rights division has already been concerned in some of the Justice Department’s most high-profile work below the Biden administration, together with the just lately introduced investigations into police practices in Minneapolis, Minn., and Louisville, Ky., and the federal indictment of the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd.

The work of the civil rights division is additionally probably to dovetail with the administration’s efforts to stem the menace of home terrorism, as quite a few nationwide safety officers have testified that white supremacists currently pose the greatest domestic extremist threat.

Republicans largely opposed Ms. Clarke. Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, mentioned that she was a partisan and radical nominee who had sharply criticized centrists like Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia.

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