The US Senate on Tuesday narrowly confirmed Kristen Clarke as the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division. Clarke, a longtime civil rights attorney, is the first woman and the first Black woman to lead the division, which was established in 1957.
She is expected to oversee investigations into issues including police misconduct and restrictive voting laws, USA Today reports. Clarke is known for her work on voting rights.
The daughter of Jamaican immigrants who rose from a Brooklyn housing project to earn degrees from Harvard and Columbia Law School, Ms. Clarke is best known as a leading advocate for voting rights protections.
Her expertise will make her a key player in the administration’s effort to push back on laws that could restrict access to the ballot box.
Clarke was confirmed by a Senate vote of 51 to 48, largely along party lines.