Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s associate attorney general nominee, has been confirmed by the Senate 51-49 on Wednesday after Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska broke party lines to support Gupta, CNN reported.
Gupta will be the first woman of color to be associate attorney general.
Murkowski explained her decision, saying she was troubled by some of Gupta’s past statements but ultimately chose to support after a long conversation with the civil rights attorney.
“I asked her point blank, ‘Why do you want this? Is this worth it?’ Because this has clearly been very hard on her as a nominee,” Murkowski said. “And she paused and reflected a moment, and just spoke to how she feels called to serve in a very personal way that I thought was impactful.”
Murkowski added: “I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated throughout her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice,” Murkowski said.
Gupta led the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under the Obama administration. She then served as president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.