President Obama has nominted Maryland’s labor secretary, Tom Perez, to lead the Civil Rights Division. The move snubs Thomas Saenz, the former Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund lawyer and Yale law grad who was the original frontrunner. The BLT quotes a friend of Saenz who called the switcheroo ”a political decision from the White House, because of Tom’s work on immigration rights.” The friend said the administration thought his work on immigration issues might make his confirmation process difficult.
Perez was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Clinton administration and a former special counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). Here’s the White House announcement of his nomination.
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