- The US Senate confirmed Vanita Gupta to be the Associate Attorney General in a narrow 51-49 vote after Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski decided to join with the Democrats in support of the US President’s Justice Department nominee.
- The United States Senate on April 21, 2021, confirmed Vanita Gupta to serve as the Associate Attorney General of the US. She will be the first Indian-American to serve in this role.
- US Vice President Kamala Harris was ready for a procedural vote in case it was needed for a possible 50-50 tie, however, her vote was not required after Lisa Murkowski broke with her Republican colleagues to back Vanita Gupta. Lisa Murkowski is a moderate Republican from Alaska.
- Vanita Gupta had served in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department under the Obama Administration.
Republican Senator Murkowski’s support to Gupta:
- Senator Lisa Murkowski explained her support on the Senate Floor by stating that she was troubled by some of the statements made by Gupta but eventually decided to back her confirmation after a lengthy conversation with a nominee.
- Murkowski added that she asked Gupta point blank, ‘Why do you want to do this? Is it worth it?’ because this has also been very hard on her as a nominee. Gupta reflected a moment and just spoke about how she feels called to serve in a very personal way.
- Murkowski pointed that she is going to give the benefit of doubt to a woman who she believes has demonstrated throughout her professional career to be deeply committed to the matters of justice.
Who is Vanita Gupta?
- She is an American Civil Rights Attorney and a President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
- Gupta from 2014 to 2017 had served as the principal deputy assistant attorney. She was also the head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, where she was chief civil rights prosecutor for the US.
- Throughout her career, Vanita Gupta has drawn support from a wide range of liberal activists and progressive law enforcement figures. President Joe Biden, on January 7, 2021, had nominated Gupta to serve as the Associate Attorney General.
- Gupta received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 2001.
Source – PIB