WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement ahead of William Barr‘s Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for U.S. Attorney General.
“During his earlier tenure at the Justice Department, William Barr was one of the staunchest proponents for mass incarceration, promoting policies that ignited the War on Drugs in our country. From encouraging prison construction, promoting harsh sentencing, and opposing policing reform, Barr has espoused views that run contrary to our best thinking today about criminal justice. During his confirmation hearing, it is critical that Barr make clear that he has abandoned his earlier positions on criminal justice and is prepared to implement a 21st century approach on issues ranging from policing, prisons, sentencing and more. Barr must also acknowledge the devastating impact that his policies have had on African Americans and other communities of color.
“Barr’s nomination comes following a period that has proven to be devastating when it comes to civil rights enforcement in our country. At every turn, this Justice Department has abandoned enforcement of civil rights laws and reversed course in pending cases. Barr must provide evidence that makes clear that he will restore the integrity of the Justice Department and reactivate civil rights enforcement across the board.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
Derrick Robinson, Lawyers’ Committee, [email protected], 202-662-8317