One of the coolest and most qualified civil rights lawyers ever, Kristen Clarke, was confirmed to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice yesterday. She's the first Senate-confirmed woman to lead the division, and the first Black woman.

The vote was 51-48, because only one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, managed to think Clarke was OK for the job. The rest were opposed for what were surely non-misogynistic, non-racist reasons. (Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana couldn't be bothered to vote. Maybe he was busy shooting another sexxx video for the NRA.)

Clarke was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman and first Asian American woman to ever be vice president. Present for Clarke's swearing in was also Vanita Gupta, who President Joe Biden chose to be the number three at Justice, and who was one of the other woman of color Biden nominees Republicans decided to hold up so they could do some good old fashioned racist fact-free smear campaigns. That time it was Lisa Murkowski who was the only Republican who found the nominee acceptable.


Clarke's nomination was announced months ago, back when President Biden was announcing all his nominees. Somehow it took this long. "Somehow." Republicans busily painted Clarke as a cop-hater, even though she was supported by many institutional cop groups. Indeed, the New York Times reports that yesterday on the Senate floor Republicans got up one by one to argle bargle about how Clarke would defund the police. Collins, on the other hand, said she had actually looked at Clarke's record and was pretty sure Clarke would not do that. Reading things and becoming well-informed: even Republicans can do it!

Speaking of that record, tell us, does this sound like the c.v. of somebody who should be running the Civil Rights Division?

She rejected a corporate law job to join the Justice Department, working in the Civil Rights Division during the George W. Bush administration. She worked at the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and at the Civil Rights Bureau in the New York attorney general's office, where she led an initiative to protect the right of Jewish employees to observe the Sabbath and religious holidays.

In 2015, Ms. Clarke became the leader of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an organization formed during the civil rights movement.

We sure think it does! We guess to all those other Republican senators all of that is RED FLAG!

Here's some more about Clarke, from yesterday afternoon's Times, about why she's such a perfect and important nominee for this particular time in our history. You'll pardon us if we think this might be the Republicans' actual problem with Clarke, as opposed to whatever they're drool-barking about how she hates the cops. (Christ, these are people who won't even support a commission to investigate the terrorists who attacked Congress on January 6, terrorists who also attacked the cops who protect Congress. They can fucking miss us with their feigned concern for the cops.)

The daughter of Jamaican immigrants who rose from a Brooklyn housing project to earn degrees from Harvard and Columbia Law School, Ms. Clarke is best known as a leading advocate for voting rights protections. Her expertise will make her a key player in the administration's effort to push back on laws that could restrict access to the ballot box.

During her confirmation hearing, Ms. Clarke, 46, said that she would use all of the tools at her disposal, including the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Citizens Voting Act, to ensure that eligible Americans continued to have the right to vote.

Oh shit, the person running the Civil Rights Division at DOJ gonna protect people's right to vote!

Clarke's confirmation hearing was insane, and a couple of Republicans really showed their asses that day. Of course, all their lines appeared to have been fed to them directly by Tucker Carlson, who it could be argued was the real leader of the smear campaign against Clarke, which is surprising for such a committed non-racist as Tucker.

It was really special when Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn got confused about a satirical article Clarke wrote while at Harvard, about how Black people are genetically superior to white people. It was obvious satire. Indeed, it was a response to The Bell Curve, which was co-written by a Harvard professor, and which explicitly argued for the superiority of white people. Clarke was president of the Black Students Association. Clarke wrote a fun response about how clearly Black people are the superior ones, and here's why.

And yet here was Cornyn, asking with a straight face, "Well, maybe there's a misprint, but I'm sure you can clear it up for me, dating back to your days in school when you seemed to argue that African-Americans were genetically superior to Caucasians." He added, "Is that correct?"

Needless to say, he was not correct. She explained it to him with little words his Texas white man brain could understand.

Congratulations, Kristen Clarke. May you have the opportunity to do really good work in your new position, and may every day of your tenure make the assholes of Tucker Carlson and John Cornyn and Tom Cotton and Mike Lee and ALL THE OTHERS just itch and itch and itch and itch.

[New York Times]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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