The Senate confirmed Kristen Clarke to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division on Tuesday.
Republican Maine Rep. Susan Collins voted with all 50 Democrats to confirm Clarke. Her nomination survived Republican criticism of her promotion of an essay that compared police officers to the Ku Klux Klan, as well as other perceived insults towards police officers.
BREAKING: The Senate has confirmed Kristen Clarke to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Not only is she eminently qualified and the ideal person to advance our civil rights and restore credibility at the Division, she’s the first Black woman to hold this role.
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) May 25, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was forced to use a discharge petition to advance Clarke’s nomination out of the Senate Judiciary Committee after Democrats and Republicans deadlocked, Axios reported.
While at Columbia University, Clarke recommended an essay entitled “Mumia, ‘Lynch Law’ & Imperialism” to her mentor for an academic journal.
The essay, written by the late Amiri Baraka, declares, “The Klan is now the Police, with Blue uniforms replacing the sheets and hoods. The corrupt racist Judges, are petty Klan administrators.” (RELATED: A Joe Biden Justice Department Pick Argued In 1994 That Blacks Have ‘Greater Mental, Physical And Spiritual Abilities’ Than Whites)
Clarke also promoted the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax, and falsely claimed that Jacob Blake was unarmed when police shot him. In response to her claim that Blake was unarmed, Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said during her confirmation hearing, “Every cop in America should be terrified that the Department of Justice is going to jump to a conclusion when they have to make a split second decision to defend themselves or to defend innocent, law-abiding citizens.”
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz described Clarke and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta as “two of the most radical nominees ever put forward for any position in the federal government,” in an interview with the Washington Post.