December 7, 2018
Statement of Derrick Johnson on Announcement of William Barr for Attorney General
In two years, the Justice Department under Trump has decimated civil rights across communities and issue areas. Trump’s appointment of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General was everything we feared and more. Now, Trump has announced a second appointee, William Barr, to lead the Department.
William Barr’s own record on civil rights is deeply troubling, particularly in the area of criminal justice. We urge the Senate to exercise its advise and consent responsibility carefully and thoroughly and to vet this nominee entrusted with enforcing our rights with the utmost care.
Given his own policies, actions, and statements on civil rights, Trump is not entitled to any deference on an appointment this critical to enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws. In fact, Trump’s deplorable record makes an appointment immediately suspect.
The American people deserve a Justice Department and a leader committed to the rule of law and committed to civil and human rights which are foundational to our democracy. Now is the time to protect the mission and independence of the Justice Department so that it may ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for everyone.