October 06, 2009

CARDIN LAUDS CONFIRMATION OF MARYLANDER TOM PEREZ TO LEAD DOJ CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (Both D-MD), praised the Senate for its strong, bipartisan vote to confirm Thomas E. Perez to be Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Perez was first nominated by President Obama to fill this critical position in March of this year. The Senate Judiciary Committee held its hearing in April. The full Judiciary Committee reported his nomination favorably to the Senate in early June, almost exactly four months ago. Mr. Perez was confirmed today by 72-22 vote of the Senate.
 
"Tom Perez has been an aggressive champion for justice and the public good his entire career. I was proud to chair his confirmation hearing back in April and I look forward, finally, to working with him as he leads the Civil Rights Division and helps restore the credibility and morale of the career staff charged with protecting against discrimination in our society," said Senator Cardin, a member of the Judiciary Committee. "The Civil Rights Division is our nation's moral conscience and, with Tom's leadership, will again be empowered to take action against those who violate our laws."
 
Senator Cardin's full remarks on the confirmation of Tom Perez can be found at cardin.senate.gov .
 
"I am confident Tom Perez will get the Civil Rights Division back on track and enforce this country's civil rights laws to combat discrimination, protect minorities and hold violators accountable," Senator Mikulski said. "He will restore its reputation as embodying this country's value of tolerance and equal rights and protection for all."
 
Senator Mikulski's full remarks on the confirmation of Tom Perez can be found at mikulski.senate.gov .
 
Tom Perez has an impressive range of experience in civil rights issues and management.  He has had a long and distinguished career in public service and is uniquely qualified to lead the Civil Rights Division.  He served for 10 years at the DOJ Civil Rights Division, moving up the ladder within the Civil Rights Division, first as a trial attorney in the Criminal Section, then as deputy chief of the Criminal Section, and finally as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Perez also was detailed to Senator Edward Kennedy's office as his principal advisor on civil rights, criminal justice, juvenile justice and constitutional issues. During his time at DOJ, he took on white supremacists, police brutality, corruption, and other civil rights violations.  He received for his work the department's second highest honor, the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award.
 
Tom Perez most recently served in Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley cabinet as the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. He also has served as president of the Montgomery County Council.