The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Derrick Robinson, Lawyers’ Committee,, 202-662-8317

Barr Must Restore the Integrity of the DOJ & Reactivate Civil Rights Enforcement

 The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Issues Statement Ahead of Barr’s Confirmation Hearing for AG


Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement ahead of William Barr's Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for U.S. Attorney General.

"During his earlier tenure at the Justice Department, William Barr was one of the staunchest proponents for mass incarceration, promoting policies that ignited the War on Drugs in our country. From encouraging prison construction, promoting harsh sentencing, and opposing policing reform, Barr has espoused views that run contrary to our best thinking today about criminal justice. During his confirmation hearing, it is critical that Barr make clear that he has abandoned his earlier positions on criminal justice and is prepared to implement a 21st century approach on issues ranging from policing, prisons, sentencing and more. Barr must also acknowledge the devastating impact that his policies have had on African Americans and other communities of color.

"Barr's nomination comes following a period that has proven to be devastating when it comes to civil rights enforcement in our country. At every turn, this Justice Department has abandoned enforcement of civil rights laws and reversed course in pending cases. Barr must provide evidence that makes clear that he will restore the integrity of the Justice Department and reactivate civil rights enforcement across the board."

The Lawyers' Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today.

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