Impeccable Civil Rights Credentials: Confirm Kenneth L. Marcus


Confirmation battles that pit one party’s nominee for federal office against senators from the opposition party long have been spectator sport in Washington. But when extremists from the nominee’s own party attack, well now, there’s a “man bites dog” story.

The most recent example is the curious case of Kenneth L. Marcus, President Trump’s nominee to be assistant secretary of education for civil rights. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights is charged with ensuring equal access to education through enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws.

Marcus is well-suited to the task. He ran the same office under a grant of delegated authority in the administration President George W. Bush, while simultaneously serving as deputy assistant secretary of education for civil rights enforcement. Marcus later served as the staff director to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (a bipartisan federal civil rights agency), where we overlapped for several years when I was one of USCCR’s eight commissioners. Currently, Marcus is president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center, a civil rights organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism on college campuses.

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