The Chairman of Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), released the following statement on the confirmation of Eric Dreiband to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Dreiband was confirmed by a vote of 50-47.
“The confirmation of Eric Dreiband to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is yet another example of Republicans picking the fox to guard the henhouse.
“Mr. Dreiband lacks experience in many of the civil rights issues that fall under the Division’s jurisdiction – most importantly, voting rights, hate crimes, and police accountability. In addition, the civil rights issues that he does have experience in are issues that he has spent his career fighting against – fair employment and ban the box.
“Our civil rights have been under attack ever since Attorney General Sessions was confirmed to lead the Department of Justice. However, confirming Mr. Dreiband to lead the Civil Rights Division – one of the most prominent and powerful divisions at the Department – will make a bad situation worse.”
In 2007, Dreiband testified against bipartisan legislation to prevent long-term pay discrimination against women. In 2010, he testified before Congress against legislation to strengthen protections for millions of older Americans facing age discrimination in the workplace.
Dreiband’s confirmation follows almost two years of attacks on civil rights by the Sessions-led DOJ, attacks which have included a relaunch of the war on drugs and weakened police accountability and voting rights enforcement. In fact, when it comes to voting rights enforcement, it has become clear that the Civil Rights Division is willfully asleep at the wheel ahead of the 2016 midterm election.
On September 5, a day before Dreiband’s nomination hearing, the CBC sent a letter to the Senate urging that his nomination be rejected.