Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – LaShawn Warren, executive vice president of government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on President-elect Joe Biden’s intent to nominate Merrick Garland as Attorney General of the United States, Lisa Monaco as Deputy Attorney General, Vanita Gupta as Associate Attorney General, and Kristen Clarke as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights:

“For the past four years, the top political leaders at the Justice Department have abdicated their duty to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States. Attorneys General Sessions and Barr have not only undermined morale, but they have also fallen in lock step with President Trump’s attempts to use the department to weaken civil rights laws and to further his personal agenda. Merrick Garland will lead the department in recommitting itself to the people and restore fidelity to the democratic values embedded in the Constitution and the laws of the United States. He will also assert the independence of the agency, respect non-partisan career lawyers, and bring back employee confidence. We look forward to working with Judge Garland and his team to ensure civil rights enforcement is a top priority for the Justice Department.

“Among those announced today, The Leadership Conference is especially thrilled that President-elect Biden is nominating our own president and CEO Vanita Gupta to be the Associate Attorney General, a leadership position at the department that carries tremendous weight for civil rights and other justice issues. To our knowledge, she will be the first leader of a major civil rights organization to be nominated to one of the top three positions at Justice, and the first woman of color to serve as Associate Attorney General. She is an exceptional leader, consensus builder, and experienced litigator who will play a key role in ensuring the department lives up to its mission.

“With Garland, Monaco, Gupta, and Clarke at the helm, the department can work to ensure police accountability, fairness in sentencing, enforcement of hate crimes laws, and educational equity, as well as protect the rights of Black and brown communities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and religious minorities. We urge the new Senate to move swiftly on confirming these nominees, and we look forward to working with the new leadership at the department.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit