Patrick takes over civil rights post, sets agenda

April 15, 1994|By Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON -- Saying the "real and ultimate agenda" of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is to "reclaim the American conscience," Deval Patrick was sworn in to lead the division.

Mr. Patrick, 37, takes over the division that enforces the nation's civil rights laws on matters ranging from race to disabilities. His ascension follows a long and frustrating search by the Clinton administration, which included the withdrawal of the nomination of University of Pennsylvania law professor Lani Guinier.

Mr. Patrick said he had been framing his agenda in terms of enforcing voting rights laws, fair lending laws and the Americans With Disabilities Act. "The real and ultimate agenda is to reclaim the American conscience," Mr. Patrick said yesterday. "Our true mission is to restore the great moral imperative that civil rights is finally all about."

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