Sen. Chris Coons, on Oct. 11, urged colleagues to join him in opposing the nomination of Eric Dreiband, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the assistant attorney general of the civil rights division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

“I have approached each of President Trump’s nominees with an open mind, as I believe is my responsibility,” said Coons. “However, I have also considered each of these nominees with an appreciation for the critical responsibilities that come with the roles to which they are nominated. For Mr. Dreiband, those responsibilities would include zealous enforcement of our civil rights laws. They would encompass advocating for victims of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age, nationality, disability, sex and gender identity, as well as protecting access to the ballot box and fighting against disenfranchisement. This role also requires ensuring that our nation lives up to its highest ideals of equal rights, equal opportunity and equal justice under the law.

“I am concerned that Mr. Dreiband does not have the appropriate experience to effectively lead the civil rights division. Beyond that, given his extensive anti-civil rights record, I do not have sufficient assurances that he will reverse the administration’s troubling trend of politicizing the civil rights division and abandoning meritorious claims asserted on behalf of vulnerable populations. For those reasons, I cannot support Mr. Dreiband’s nomination to lead this critical office, which has a proud legacy of enforcing our nation’s hard-fought civil rights laws,” said Coons.