Brandeis Center President and General Counsel, Kenneth L. Marcus, has been nominated for the role of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. On December 5, Mr. Marcus appeared in front of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) for a hearing on his nomination. In his opening statement to the Committee, Mr. Marcus pledged that, if confirmed, he would continue to advocate for equal justice for all students—regardless of color or creed: “I would work to strengthen OCR, to preserve civil rights, to seek equal justice for all, to respect the rule of law, and to promote public confidence.”
The Brandeis Center’s efforts to defend students who face religious discrimination and harassment also came up at the hearing. Former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, for example, commended LDB’s advocacy on behalf of a Virginia Tech Student who received threats from a white supremacist teaching assistant at the University. “The Brandeis center, laudably I think, helped the student out and weighed in with the administration of Virginia Tech and said, you got to take this seriously, white supremacy is wrong, neo-Nazi ideas are wrong. And especially in an educational environment, having somebody with those views who is offering a required class, students might have to take that class who are Muslim students, Jewish students, the Brandeis Center laid that out,” said Senator Kaine.
The next step is for the Committee to recommend that Mr. Marcus’s nomination be submitted to a full vote by the Senate. To watch a full recording of the hearing, please click here: https://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/department-of-education-and-department-of-labor-nominations.