January 12, 2021

Cardin Statement on Biden-Harris Justice Department Team

“The Biden administration will begin to reverse the damage done to the rule of law in the Trump administration and start to reestablish the independence of the Justice Department.”

“President-Elect Joe Biden’s decision to nominate such a strong, experienced, and diverse team to lead the United States Department of Justice illustrates the importance he has assigned to restoring the integrity of our legal system.  With this group of leaders, the Biden administration will begin to reverse the damage done to the rule of law in the Trump administration and start to reestablish the independence of the Justice Department.  Merrick Garland will bring his significant experience as a prosecutor, judge, and Justice Department official under both Democratic and Republican administrations to lead the department and serve as the people’s lawyer, not the president’s personal attorney.

“I am pleased that Vanita Gupta will return to the Justice Department as the Associate Attorney General, the third highest ranking position at DOJ.  I worked closely with Vanita starting in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore Police Department (BPD) custody, as she led the DOJ Civil Rights Division at the time.  She launched a comprehensive and aggressive federal investigation into the BPD, which exposed systematic discrimination and illegal racial profiling against African-American residents.  Vanita then drafted and the U.S. District Court entered into force a comprehensive consent decree to overhaul BPD and provide Constitutional policing for the citizens of Baltimore that is helping to rebuild the trust between the police and the communities they serve.  Vanita has done a fantastic job as the head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, working on countless civil rights issues to guarantee equal justice under law for all Americans, regardless of background.

Facebook live event with Vanita Gupta on civil rights agenda under Biden Administration.

“Kristen Clarke will run the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, which is really one of the crown jewels of both the department and our government.  In particular, I was pleased to work with Kristen on numerous voting rights and election protection issues in her capacity as President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  At DOJ I am confident that Kristen will aggressively enforce the voting rights statutes enacted by Congress and work to guarantee the franchise to all eligible voters.  In particular, DOJ must continue to combat voter suppression, voter intimidation, and the use of deceptive practices targeted toward minority communities.”

Facebook live event with Kristen Clarke on voting rights issues.