Vanita Gupta confirmed as Associate Attorney General

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Pictured on Jan. 7, 2021, is Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Demetrius Freeman

On April 21, 2021, President Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a slim majority of one vote.

Gupta becomes the first Indian-American to hold this high position, the third-highest rank at the Department of Justice. She is also the first woman of color to hold this position.

One Republican Senator, in this case Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted in favor of Gupta to make history in the 100 member, evenly split Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote.

According to an IANS news report, the deadlock at the Senate Judiciary Committee which first had to clear Gupta, was bypassed after her nomination was held up for more than a month. Conservatives held out against Gupta calling her ‘radical’ citing past policy position and tweets.

“Vanita Gupta is the daughter of Indian immigrants who came to the U.S. with only eight dollars and a dream. She has become one of the foremost civil rights advocates in the country and will effectuate our highest ideals of justice as Associate Attorney General,” Neil Makhija, executive director of IMPACT, an organization focused on Indian-Americans.

Born and raised in the greater Gupta earned her BA from Yale University, and her JD from New York University. She started her legal career in the ACLU and then became an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Obama.

Most recently, Gupta headed the largest civil rights group in the country, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella organization.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, praised Gupta’s record as a civil rights attorney, and the fact that she was the first woman of color to be appointed to this position.

Despite a major campaign against her nomination, the group of conservatives who opposed former President Donald Trump, known as Defending Democracy Together, came out in Gupta’s support, IANS reported.

 

 

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