Friday, September 11, 2009

NAACP calls for swift confirmation of Tom Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

Nomination may come before the full Senate as early as Monday, September 14th

Tom Perez was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in March 2009. On June 4, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved of this nominee and sent him to the full Senate for confirmation. Now, finally, it appears that the nomination of Tom Perez might come before the full Senate for confirmation as early as Monday, September 14, 2009.

Tom Perez has a breadth and depth of experience in public service, civil rights, management, and leadership that make him an exceptional candidate for this post, and the NAACP strongly supports his nomination. The mission of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division is to ensure equal treatment and equal justice under the law by enforcing and defending the civil rights of all Americans in areas such as education, employment, housing, voting, criminal justice, and public accommodations. Over the past 8 years, the civil rights division has been woefully misdirected, inactive, and has suffered from a high staff turn-over, combined with low morale, which has effectively decimated the division. As a result, the American people, and especially our nation's racial and ethnic minority communities, are clearly facing a crisis in confidence as a result of the sketchy civil rights enforcement. Tom Perez is the right person at this time to work with Attorney General Eric Holder to rebuild not only the Civil Rights Division, but also our country's reputation as a defender of the rights of all Americans to pursue the Constitutional promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

With experience in the executive and legislative branches at both the federal and state levels, Tom Perez has a proven track record in the area of civil rights enforcement, understands the issues he will face, is committed to securing and defending civil rights, and has the proven management abilities necessary to effectively restore integrity to the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division at this pivotal juncture. He has worked in practice at the Civil Rights Division, where he began as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Section, and rose to become its Deputy Chief. In January 1998, Mr. Perez became Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. He is well versed in not only many of the issues facing the Civil Rights Division at this time, but he is also keenly aware of how the division should be operating, and the challenges he will face in the upcoming years.


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