Posted on June 07, 2018 in Action Alerts

The Senate will vote on the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus today at 12:30pm. Marcus has been nominated for the position of Assistant Secretary of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education.

His appointment would be a huge setback for civil rights protections in our academic environment. Marcus has been a longtime advocate for the adoption of an overly-broad, political definition of anti-Semitism, which includes criticism of the state of Israel. This is just one of the many ways his appointment would undermine civil rights protections in academia. See our letter for more details.

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.