At no time since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, has the appointment of a progressive civil rights chief become so critical to healing the wounds of a nation which has been politically divided for the last four years.
The 57 CRA created the Civil Rights Division of the U. S. Justice Department. The CRD enforces the nations civil rights laws including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the nation’s elections laws.
The task of nominating and confirming a civil rights chief, that is, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, will be a daunting challenge for President Joe Biden. With the prospects of fierce election battles brewing for the 2022 midterm elections, and the 2024 presidential election, because of the defeat of President Donald Trump and the tenets of Trumpism which have gripped Trump’s base for the last four years, the stakes are among the highest in the nation’s political history.
It is reasonable to expect that right wing Republican Senators like Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Mike Lee are at work now preparing to grill the nominee hard, and to derail her nomination if they can, on the following hot button issues:
Will she investigate and prosecute state and local government officials who did not investigate claims made by the Trump Campaign of widespread voter fraud in Election 2020?
Does she agree with the (5-4) Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder which invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act?
Will she seek to invalidate redistricting plans adopted in States controlled by GOP State Houses which seek to increase the number of GOP majority Congressional Districts to elect more Republican members to Congress following the 2020 Census?
Will she support ‘court packing’ legislation that will increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court, and the number of judges on the federal appellate courts?
Will she seek to overturn laws and regulations adopted in GOP controlled states which progressive advocates argued had the effect of suppressing the vote in Election 2020?
Will she support or oppose legislation to regulate mail-in voting?
It will be a significant challenge for Joe Biden to nominate a progressive candidate for civil rights chief who a majority of Democrats will enthusiastically embrace.
And then it will be a substantial challenge to get her confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate.