Vanita Gupta has been confirmed in a 51-49 vote as the associate attorney general for the Department of Justice. Gupta is the first woman of color and civil rights attorney to serve as associate attorney general.
Gupta joins Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco as the No. 3 Justice Department official.
“We never have had a former civil rights attorney serving in such a prominent serving in such a position of prominence at the Justice Department. In that sense alone, Ms. Gupta would bring a long-overdue perspective to our federal law enforcement agency,’ said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
From 2014 to 2017, Gupta served as the chief civil rights prosecutor under former President Barack Obama.
Senator Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican to vote for Gupta.
“She has been elevated with very strong rhetorical words in favor and equally words of condemnation,” Senator Murkowski said. “I asked her point-blank, ‘Why do you want this? Is this worth it?’ Because this has been clearly very hard on her as a nominee. And she paused and reflected a moment and just spoke to how she feels called to serve in a very personal way that I thought was impactful.”
President Joe Biden announced Gupta’s nomination in January.