The Washington Post reports that Obama intends to nominate Vanita Gupta, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Deputy Legal Director, to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division. This news comes not long after Attorney General Eric Holder announced his imminent resignation, and indicates a continued initiative of positive federal drug policy changes.
Gupta has been outspoken on a number of issues, including racial sentencing disparities, federal incentives to state police that prioritize the investigation of drug arrests over violent crime, mandatory minimum sentences and related disparities, as well as marijuana legalization. She currently leads the ACLU’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Gupta has also garnered bipartisan support with conservatives Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and David Keene, former president of the NRA, both speaking highly of her.
“Vanita Gupta has witnessed the damage caused by our erroneous policies throughout her career. She’s a brilliant choice for this position,” says executive director of LEAP, Major Neill Franklin (ret.). “This shows that the federal government is aiming to look at drug policy issues through a social-justice lens rather than a criminal justice one. ”
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a group of police, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs.