Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice, is a vocal abortion proponent who has repeatedly expressed her support for preserving Roe v. Wade. She also oversees investigations into violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act—which she has used to charge 26 pro-life individuals this year.
“It appears she’s violating her oath of office and she’s violating her duty, which is to fairly administer the law regardless of political views,” John Daukas, former acting assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Trump administration, told The Daily Signal. “She appears only to be prosecuting groups that she doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with.”
Few would expect such a high-ranking DOJ official to retain the slew of political hot-takes and public condemnations that litter Clarke’s social media from before she assumed her current role. She has called Alliance Defending Freedom a “hate group” and Liberty University a “fundamentalist Christian school.” She has said that those protesting Dr. Anthony Fauci should be “publicly identified and named, barred from treatment at any public hospital if/when they fall ill and denied coverage under their insurance.”
She has hurled insults at Republican politicians from Lisa Murkowski to Donald Trump, supported the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, and has submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate that Amy Coney Barrett was unfit to serve as a justice because she would likely rule to overturn Roe v. Wade (which Clarke vociferously and publicly supported). She has frequently critiqued pro-life laws and courts that upheld them, branding a law protecting Down Syndrome babies “draconian.”
Significantly (in light of the scores of recent attacks on pro-life centers following the Roe v. Wade leak), Clarke called pro-life pregnancy care centers “predatory” and “fake clinics,” claiming they are part of a “coordinated strategy to tear down Roe” (as The Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross reported).
Clarke has heavily toned down her activist rhetoric since her nomination to the Justice Department. The Daily Signal reached out to her multiple times through various avenues to obtain comment for this story, but a spokesperson declined to comment on her behalf.
Her politically charged comments call into question “her ability to impartially enforce the law,” according to Roger Severino, the former director of the health department’s Office for Civil Rights who also formerly served as a trial attorney in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
“A key pillar of law enforcement is that you go where the facts and the law lead you, and you don’t insert politics to drive your prosecutorial decision-making,” added Severino, the vice president of domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation. “And with this DOJ, starting with Attorney General Merrick Garland and Kristen Clarke, we’ve seen politicization on an unprecedented level.” (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)
Sworn in to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in May 2021, Clarke previously served as president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and as Civil Rights Bureau Chief for the New York State Attorney General. She also formerly worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and as a trial attorney for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
Clarke studied at Harvard University, where she argued in a 1994 letter to the student newspaper that black people have “greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities” than white people. She also attended Columbia Law School, during which time she circulated the poet Amiri Baraka’s essay defending a cop killer and comparing the police to the KKK, later reports revealed.
She also faced heavy criticism during her confirmation process for inviting antisemitic speaker Tony Martin to campus during his time at Harvard. His book described the “escalating Jewish onslaught” against black people.
Content created by Mary Margaret Olohan
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