Obama to nominate ACLU lawyer to lead Justice Department’s civil rights division

ACLU Obama to nominate ACLU lawyer to Justice Department Civil Rights division

By Sari Horwitz

President Obama plans to nominate a top lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department, which has been without a permanent leader for more than a year.

Vanita Gupta, a longtime civil rights lawyer, deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of its Center for Justice, will be appointed acting head of the division Wednesday by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., administration officials said.

An administration official said the White House is expected to nominate her in the coming months to be the permanent assistant attorney general for civil rights, a division that oversees voting rights and civil rights investigations, including the ones Holder recently opened on the police department in Ferguson, Mo., and the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old by a Ferguson police officer. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

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