Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks As The Senate Discharges The Nomination Of Vanita Gupta To Be Associate Attorney General For Consideration By The Full Senate

April 15, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor in advance of the vote to discharge President Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, Vanita Gupta, from the Judiciary Committee, and urged the Senate to confirm Ms. Gupta based on her background and merits. The Senate adopted the motion to discharge the Gupta nomination, moving it to the full Senate for consideration, by a vote of 49-34. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

The Senate will soon vote on a motion to discharge the nomination of Vanita Gupta to serve as the next Associate Attorney General. The daughter of immigrants, she would be the first woman of color and the first civil rights attorney to serve as Associate Attorney General.

Ms. Gupta is an exceptional nominee and an outstanding lawyer. It’s confounding her nomination has been tied up in the Judiciary Committee, requiring the Senate to take the extra procedural steps to move her nomination forward.

But despite Republican obstruction, she will be confirmed by this chamber.

Ms. Gupta’s credentials speak for themselves. She most recently served as president and C.E.O. of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and served four years at the Justice Department. Her first case after law school involved securing the release of several African Americans wrongly convicted by all-white juries in Texas. 

At a time when so many in our country call for action against civil injustices and racial violence, how can we not install one of the nation’s top civil rights lawyers at the Department of Justice?

Senate Republicans, rather than evaluate Ms. Gupta on the merits of her accomplishments, have spent the last few weeks appealing to outlandish accusations that she is an out of touch far-left radical. The questions she endured during her confirmation hearing were utterly inane, from accusations that she’s anti-police to insinuations she wants to legalize all drugs. A conservative judicial organization even launched a shameful national ad campaign to smear her nomination.

These smear tactics are nonsense. Ms. Gupta commands the respect of civil rights advocates and law enforcement and has the endorsement from the National Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs Association, the Association of Chiefs of Police and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

And there's no mystery to Ms. Gupta's broad support: she’s outstanding at what she does. She knows how to listen and work with others—including Republican Senators—and is deeply knowledgeable in her field.

That is exactly—exactly—the kind of person we need at the Department of Justice.

So I look forward to now moving on Ms. Gupta's nomination and yield back the rest of our time.