Senate Votes to Confirm Thomas E. Perez as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

October 6, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate voted 72 to 22 to confirm Maryland Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez as the nation’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. The confirmation is long overdue in light of the fact that our nation requires a strong leader for the division after eight years of little civil rights enforcement.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz stated, “The lengthy and unwarranted delay in confirming an eminently qualified leader for the civil rights division is indefensible in light of the urgent need for a reinvigorated federal civil rights enforcement effort.”

Perez has a record of leadership, public service and commitment to vigorous civil rights enforcement to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly. He is a former federal prosecutor for the Civil Rights Division and also served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Perez previously served as Special Counsel to the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he served as principal advisor on civil rights, criminal justice and constitutional justice issues. During the Clinton Administration, he served as the Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund