Letter to the Senate Supporting the Nomination of Vanita Gupta to be the next Associate Attorney General
Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General of the United States, has had a career dedicated to exemplifying the qualities necessary for performing the job for which she has been nominated. She began her legal career as a fellow and assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, America’s premier legal organization for fighting for racial justice, where she worked on criminal justice cases. She then became a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated “to fight[ing] government abuse and to vigorously defend[ing] individual freedoms,” eventually becoming its Deputy Legal Director and Director of its Center for Justice. While a staff attorney at the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, Ms. Gupta engaged in litigation issues including education, indigent defense, immigration detention, and criminal justice reform. And as Director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice, she worked to remove racial bias from the criminal justice system, keep communities safe without relying too much on incarceration, and advance the organization’s criminal justice reform goals. President Barack Obama recognized Ms. Gupta’s commitment to civil rights and appointed her as the U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, a senior position in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Under her leadership, the division prosecuted hate crimes and human trafficking, protected the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, promoted disability rights, and combatted discrimination in education, employment, housing, lending, and religious exercise. And after a successful tenure at DOJ, Ms. Gupta became the President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, our nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, where she worked to achieve the organization’s mission to safeguard civil and human rights through advocacy and outreach.
Her career has thoroughly prepared her to be DOJ’s next AAG, having experience in nearly each subject matter at the heart of the DOJ components under the charge of the AAG. Ms. Gupta has spent her legal career fighting for greater equity in our criminal justice system and advancing the rights and dignity of all people in America. She has demonstrated that, above all, she is committed to equal justice, equitable policies, and faithfulness to the text, history, and values of the U.S. Constitution.