WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on April 21 voted 51-49 to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, the third-highest-ranking position at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
She is the first woman of color and the first civil rights attorney to serve in this position, as well as the highest-ranking Asian American to ever serve at DOJ.
Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued the following statements applauding her confirmation:
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “Congratulations to Vanita Gupta on her bipartisan confirmation as our new U.S. associate attorney general. Not only is Vanita the first woman of color and first civil rights attorney to serve in this position, but she is also the highest-ranking Asian American to ever serve at DOJ.
“Her confirmation could not come at a more significant time as our nation continues to grapple with a multitude of civil rights issues – from police brutality targeting Black and Brown communities to the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes we have seen throughout the pandemic. We need a Department of Justice that understands the needs and experiences of communities of color and works to protect them from violence and disenfranchisement.
“That is why it is so meaningful to have somebody who understands our communities, both as an Asian American herself, and as a leading civil rights figure who has spent her entire career fighting for justice. I’m so thrilled for Vanita and can’t wait to work with her in her new role. I thank President Biden for nominating such a highly qualified candidate who will bring immeasurable expertise and experience to DOJ.”
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), CAPAC first vice chair: “Congratulations to Vanita Gupta on her successful confirmation as associate attorney general. From her time working with the NAACP to her role as acting assistant attorney general and head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under President Obama, Ms. Gupta has been a champion of criminal justice reform and protecting the rights of underserved populations. I look forward to working with President Biden and Ms. Gupta to ensure that the rights of all Americans are protected against hate and discrimination.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), CAPAC whip: “I’m pleased the Senate voted to confirm Vanita Gupta, who will become the first woman of color and first civil rights lawyer in U.S. history to serve as associate attorney general at the Department of Justice. Gupta has dedicated her entire career to civil rights work and will bring a unique and valuable perspective to the Justice Department. She will do an excellent job as our new U.S. associate attorney general.”