Bush official, civil rights activist tapped for Ed post
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday tapped a former Bush administration official and civil rights advocate as the Education Department’s civil rights chief.
Kenneth Marcus is president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, whose mission “is to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people” and combat anti-Semitism on university campuses.
The White House said Trump would nominate Marcus as assistant secretary for civil rights. Marcus previously served as staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as well as acting assistant secretary for civil rights in George W. Bush’s administration.
The nomination, which requires Senate confirmation, comes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is having difficulties filling some senior positions in her agency.
Candice Jackson, the acting civil rights chief, has faced criticism for suggesting that sexual assault on campuses is often the result of both students being drunk.
Jackson told The New York Times in July, “Rather, the accusations — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ’we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.” Jackson later apologized.
Marcus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Senator Patty Murray, senior Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees education, said she is grateful Jackson wasn’t nominated for the job.
“I am very glad that Secretary DeVos listened to the parents and students across the country who rejected Candice Jackson’s callousness toward survivors of sexual assault and deeply misguided approach to protecting the civil rights and safety of students in our nation’s school,” Murray said in a statement. She added that she wants to hear more from Marcus about his plans.