confirmed Kristen Clarke
to lead the Justice Department
's Civil Rights
Division on Tuesday, making her the first woman and the first Black woman to lead the powerful division, which was established in 1957 as the civil rights movement gained traction.
Every Democrat voted to confirm Clarke as an assistant U.S. attorney general, while every Republican
voted against her, with the exception of Maine
Sen. Susan Collins
, who voted no. The final vote count was 51-48.
Clarke, the current president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has a long history of civil rights legal work
She began her career in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, where she prosecuted dozens of federal cases involving voting rights
and hate crimes
. In 2006, she joined the NAACP
Legal Defense Fund, where she defended voting rights. In 2011, she was appointed director of the civil rights bureau for the New York Attorney General
's office, where she led efforts relating to voting rights and hate crimes.
Clarke will now be in charge of the department's enforcement of federal anti-discrimination laws, which cover everything from policing to the criminal justice system and elections
This story is in the works and will be updated as it progresses.