The recent US Presidential elections have been unprecedented. From Joe Biden’s victory to new appointments in the governments, many things happened like never before.
This was the first time when a candidate received 51 votes against 49 in general election. Meanwhile, for the first time in history a woman of colour has been appointed to the third largest post in the Ministry of Justice. Vanita Gupta, an American of Indian origin is the new Assistant Attorney General of the US Ministry of Justice.
The city of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh is now in the headlines once again. Actually, Vanita’s father Rajiv Lochan had moved to the US from Aligarh about four decades ago. Vanita was born on 15 November 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned a BA degree from Yale University and studied as a Juris Doctor from New York University.
Started her career at the age of 28
Vanita began her advocacy career with LDF, a New York-based civil rights organization and law firm, after completing her studies at the age of 28. She began her career advocating a drug case involving black American citizens in Texas for her clients. Vanita was successful got her client absolved.
She also filed a case against the country’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement for detaining asylum seekers after she became the staff attorney of the American Civil Liberties Union in 2007. Winning the case as a vocal supporter of civil rights Elevated her height.
Obama expressed confidence
Former President Barack Obama gave Vanita the responsibility of Assistant Attorney General for Human Rights. He made her the head of the Human Rights Section in the Department of Justice. She held this position till 2017.
Vanita’s leadership, advocating a better environment in the US in the field of civil rights, began a period of review and reforms in the functioning of the police of many cities. During this time, she did remarkable work in cases related to hate crimes and human trafficking. She helped giving better rights to the disabled, as well as in ending discrimination in education, employment, housing and voting.
Republican Senator Voted for Vanita against party line
In January 2021, Joe Biden appointed Vanita as the assistant attorney general of the country after taking over as the US President. However, his appointment was yet to receive Senate approval. Recently, the Senate has approved his appointment.
What is interesting about her election is that despite the number of Democrats and Republican members in the Senate being 50-50, she got 51 votes. This is because a female Republican senator voted for Vanita against the party line. However, in the face of equal votes, Vice President Kamala Harris was present in the Senate to cast her vote. But it did not come her way. Vanita is the first civil rights lawyer and the first woman of colour to hold one of the top three positions in the Ministry of Justice.
Biden said “a qualified and respected lawyer”
Congratulating her, the US President described her as a highly qualified and highly respected lawyer. She is dedicated to improving the justice system in the country and ending racial discrimination.