Tom Perez Confirmed to Head DOJ’s Civil Rights Division
The Senate today voted to confirm Thomas E. Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. The nomination has been pending without action in the Senate for more than four months due to Republican opposition. The final vote today was 72 to 22.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, “There are no questions about the qualifications of Tom Perez. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Perez made clear his commitment that the Justice Department would enforce the law. In the arena of civil rights, living up to those assurances is particularly important. Given that Tom Perez has a distinguished record of public service and a long career advancing civil rights, I have full confidence that he is the right person to restore the Civil Rights Division to its finest traditions of independent law enforcement.”
Perez’s confirmation is the first to a senior position at the Justice Department since April. Four assistant attorney general nominations remain pending on the Senate calendar: Dawn Johnsen to be the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, reported by the Committee on March 19; Mary Smith to be the assistant attorney general for the Tax Division, reported on June 11; Christopher Schroeder to be the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy, reported on July 28; and Ignacia Moreno to be assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.