A top lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, Vanita Gupta has been selected by Obama to head the civil rights division of the US Justice Department. She becomes the first South Asian woman to be given the post.
Gupta an Indo American born in Philadelphia, attained her law degrees from the prestigious New York University Law School in 2001. As the Director of recently formed Center for Justice, Vanita addresses the universal problems in the criminal justice system that looks into the management of prisoners, death penalty cases and the problems of over-confinement in US. She also teaches and runs a racial justice lawsuits clinic at NYU School of Law.
Vanita created history with the landmark settlement of two cases that created history in the American legal system. Vanita rescued immigrant children interned in a prison that was privately-run in Texas and successfully overturned the unlawful drug sentences of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas. She also served as a legal member that was responsible in freeing the distinguished prison journalist Wilbert Rideau.
Upon her nomination to the exalted post, Attorney General Eric Holder said, ‘Vanita has spent her entire career working to ensure that our nation lives up to its promise of equal justice for all,”!
Vanita serves on various boards in the country. Some of these being:
- Consultant for the Open Society Institute on various international human rights projects in Central Europe and Africa
- Board of OSI Roma Initiatives and Working Films, Inc.
- As an advisor to the committee of Human Rights Watch US Programs
She has also won numerous awards for her activism and has been extensively quoted in the media on racial and criminal justice issues.
News Source: Huffington Post
Image source: Huffington Post