DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The Post’s Sari Horwitz reports that Obama intends to nominate Vanita Gupta, currently director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice, to lead the civil rights division of the Justice Department. Gupta also currently leads the ACLU’s National Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Horwitz writes:
Gupta, 39, who was born in the Philadelphia area to immigrant parents, has been praised by a wide array of political activists for her civil rights work, especially on prison reform, an issue on which liberals and conservatives have found common ground.
Given her background, the move to the civil rights division is in many ways a natural one. And interestingly, much of her interest in disparities reflects concern over racial disparities in the war on drugs.
Gupta has been an outspoken opponent of mandatory minimum sentencing laws, particularly their application in drug offenses. Last month, she penned an op-ed for CNN centered around a man sentenced to life in prison for buying marijuana.