Leon W. Russell, Chair of the NAACP Board, issued the following statement this week in response to President Trump’s nomination of Eric Dreiband to serve as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
“There is no question that our nation has made tremendous progress toward advancing equality and opportunity for every single American. Yet, despite these many steps forward, there continue to be far too many daily steps back – on issues from voting rights to police reform.
“It is the persistence of these all-too-familiar problems that remind us of the importance of institutions like the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division – and today, they also serve as proof that President Trump’s nomination of Eric Dreiband to head this office is exactly the wrong choice for this moment.
“The evidence is clear. For the past 20 years, Dreiband has been on the wrong side of issues pertaining to housing, hate crimes and the many other critical areas that the Civil Rights Division oversees as part of its core mission.
“On top of that, Dreiband has publicly criticized ‘Ban the Box’ policies, brought cases challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate and defended the North Carolina bathroom bill – all which are policies that protect Americans.
“Amidst a threatened merger of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs – which would severely limit the powers of both agencies – as well as an administration that unapologetically sows division, our country needs a true advocate for civil rights in the Department of Justice. And that is not Eric Dreiband.
“We stand in direct opposition to this nomination, and in the face of this dangerous choice, we are prepared to use every resource at our disposal to keep the United States on a path toward greater justice.”