Biden is under immense pressure from the civil rights community to select a diverse Cabinet, with representation particularly prized in the most powerful jobs, such as attorney general. During a Tuesday meeting with Biden that stretched nearly two hours, some civil rights leaders made clear they wanted Biden to pick a Black attorney general, or at least one focused on issues of civil rights and racial justice. So far Biden has selected four Black Cabinet-level nominees, including secretaries of defense and housing and urban development.
On Wednesday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote a letter to Biden commending him for two high-profile posts that went to Hispanics — the secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services — but urged him to appoint Tom Perez as attorney general. Perez served as head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, secretary of labor and, most recently, head of the Democratic National Committee.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, said he told Biden during the meeting that he preferred a Black attorney general, but added, “the least we could have is someone who has a proven civil rights background.” Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said his network had a “preference for an African American, civil rights-focused attorney general,” similar to Eric H. Holder Jr., who was President Barack Obama’s first attorney general.