Posted on June 7, 2018
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said it was “troubling” that Senate Democrats would delay for five months the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education.
“It is troubling to me that Senate Democrats would delay for so long such a well-qualified individual to lead the Office for Civil Rights. OCR has the significant responsibility of ensuring that civil rights laws, and the protections they provide to all students, are fully enforced. Having founded the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, and having served as Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for four years, Mr. Marcus has a deep understanding of civil rights issues, and I now look forward to working with him to ensure that students’ rights are protected in schools and on campuses.”
Kenneth Marcus founded the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, and served as Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for four years. Mr. Marcus also served in the Department of Education under President George W. Bush, and was delegated the authority of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. In that position, he was in charge of enforcing civil rights laws, such as Title IX, where he issued guidance reminding schools of their obligation, established in regulation, to have in place Title IX coordinators and procedures for when there was an alleged Title IX violation. 68 organizations have signed letters supporting his nomination, including Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world.
As Chairman of the Senate’s education committee, Alexander chaired a hearing on Mr. Marcus’ nomination on December 5, 2017, 184 days ago, and the committee approved his nomination on January 18, 2018, 140 days ago. Alexander today voted in favor of Mr. Marcus’ nomination.
President Obama’s first assistant secretary for civil rights, Russlynn Ali, was nominated on March 18, 2009, and confirmed in 45 days. President Obama’s second and final assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine Lhamon, was nominated on June 11, 2013 and confirmed in 52 days. Neither Ms. Lhamon nor Ms. Ali had a confirmation hearing and both were confirmed by voice vote. At the request of Democrats, the Senate education committee held a confirmation hearing on Mr. Marcus’ nomination after which he answered 122 Questions for the Record.