Law Enforcement and Americans Should be Terrified of Kristen Clarke Heading Civil Rights

Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Kristen Clarke to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Clarke is one of the more controversial individuals that President Joe Biden has nominated to hold high-ranking positions in the Administration as RNLA previously noted here and here. At issue most prominently during today's hearing was Clarke's positions on defunding the police, religious liberty, race, and voting rights.

Republican Senators repeatedly questioned Clarke about a 2020 op-ed she wrote entitled: "I Prosecuted Police Killings. Defund the Police—But Be Strategic." Despite the obvious, Clarke repeatedly deflected and claimed that the policies she advocates for actually support the police.

Clarke also exhibited concerning viewpoints on race.

Additionally, the Republican members of the Committee highlighted Clarke's concerning outlook on religious freedom, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, many of the questions posed to Clarke centered on voting rights. As Hans von Spakovsky wrote earlier this year:

Clarke opposes reforms intended to safeguard the security and integrity of elections. Her organization has filed numerous lawsuits, as outlined on its website, challenging voter ID and other election reforms. She does not believe in the race-neutral enforcement of federal discrimination laws, which were intended to protect all Americans from discrimination.

Testifying in 2010 before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Christopher Coates, the former head of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, said that Clarke met with division officials in 2008 to demand that the Justice Department dismiss its first-ever case against a Black official for violating the Voting Rights Act — despite the fact that a federal district court had already found him liable for engaging in flagrant discrimination.

While Attorney General Merrick Garland claims that he aims for the Department to be apolitical, nominees like Clarke and appointees already in place at the Department are showing otherwise.

The most striking moment may have come when Senator Tom Cotton exposed Kristen Clarke's antipolice bias with her untruthful and anti-police answers regarding the Michael Brown and Jacob Blake shootings.  As Senator Cotton stated:

"Witnesses said he [Jacob Blake] was armed with a knife.  Yet again you jumped to conclusions in the aftermath of social media.  You repeatedly said he was unarmed. . . And police officers all around America can see today that you won't even agree with [fellow DOJ Biden nominee] Vanita Gupita and Eric Holder that Darren Wilson was justified in the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014."

Senator Cotton is correct.  Kristen Clarke is not fit to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.