Posted by Arab American Institute on December 08, 2017 in Blog

This week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing for nominees to serve in the Departments of Labor & Education, including Kenneth Marcus, nominee to lead the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Education. 

As our political environment has seen an increase in racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-immigrant, anti-women, and anti-LGBTQ incidents, the OCR needs a director that can address these concerns without bias and with equal application of civil rights protections for all. Kenneth Marcus fails to meet this standard.

Throughout his career, Marcus has:

  1. Weakened Title IX Protections, jeopardizing women’s equal access to education by undermining protections for victims of sexual assault on college campuses and enacting policies to advance single-sex education.
  2. Opposed Affirmative Action by opposing race-conscious admissions policies created simply to consider each candidate’s broader life experience.
  3. Chilled Free Speech on Campus by advocating for a political definition of anti-Semitism that would include criticism of Israel as a tool to intimidate students exercising free speech on campus.
  4. Opposed the framework for hate crime laws, arguing that such legislation is “a slippery slope to controlling our thoughts and motivations.”
  5. Undermined Protection for LGBTQ individuals by arguing against the protection of sexual orientation under federal law 

We cannot allow for another nomination that would stop the equal application of civil rights protections.

See our full letter to the committee opposing the nomination of Kenneth Marcus here.

ACT NOW: Urge members of the HELP committee to reject the nomination of Kenneth Marcus. 

The committee is scheduled to vote on his nomination on Wednesday, December 13th. Please send the below message to the members of the committee by filling out the form below.