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Kristen Clarke becomes first Black woman to lead DOJ Civil Rights Division

Kristen Clarke. (304827)
Kristen Clarke. Credit: Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Senate confirmed Kristen Clarke to lead the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department — making her the first woman and the first Black woman to helm the powerful post, reports AOL News.

In a vote of 51-48, the Senate confirmed Clarke as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to vote in favor of Clarke’s nomination, which was notably held on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death.

Clarke previously led the Civil Rights Bureau at the New York attorney general’s office. In 2015, she was also named head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, during which time the organization said it filed more than 250 lawsuits on voting rights, education, hate crimes, and housing, among other areas.

Clarke was sworn in Tuesday evening by Vice President Kamala Harris, whose office called Clarke “a tireless champion of equal justice” in a statement before the ceremony.