Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, the United States Senate voted to confirm Vanita Gupta as Associate Attorney General of the United States, the third-ranking position in the Department of Justice (DOJ). Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement regarding Gupta’s confirmation:

“We congratulate our friend and colleague, Vanita Gupta, on her well-deserved confirmation as Associate Attorney General of the United States. Ms. Gupta’s fearless and exceptional work as a civil rights lawyer and leader — including during the formative years she spent as an LDF attorney — epitomize why she is exactly the right person to help return the Department of Justice to its mandate of civil rights enforcement.

“At this critical moment in the history of our country, it is of paramount importance that the department is led by lawyers with a demonstrated commitment to integrity, independence, civil rights, and equal justice under the law. Ms. Gupta has devoted her entire career to civil rights work. Her unassailable reputation as a fair-minded, spirited advocate and brilliant civil rights attorney renders her an invaluable addition to the leadership of the Department of Justice.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this historic moment as Ms. Gupta becomes the first woman of color and first civil rights lawyer to serve as Associate Attorney General. Now that Ms. Gupta has joined the DOJ’s leadership team, we ask the Senate to confirm the equally well-qualified Kristen Clarke as soon as possible, so that these two extraordinary civil rights attorneys can work in tandem with Attorney General Merrick Garland to vigorously enforce civil rights protections, especially in the areas of voting rights, policing, and criminal justice. We look forward to working with the department as it fulfills this urgent and imperative mandate.”


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.


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