Dear Colleagues and Stakeholders:

For nearly six decades, through the zigs and zags of our nation’s history, the career men and women of the Civil Rights Division have worked tirelessly to advance justice and ensure equality. In so doing, they have helped transform our nation into a more just, more inclusive and more perfect union.

During the last eight years, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, the division has continued to play a forceful and pivotal role in advancing this vision. Our work has made a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals across the country.

From policing and criminal justice reform to LGBT rights and voting, the division has fought discriminatory barriers and opened doors of opportunity for some of the most vulnerable among us, including people with disabilities, people of color, people living in poverty and people who speak English as a second language.

This morning, the division published a new document that provides an overview of key accomplishments and highlights from our work over the past eight years. You can view the document [at].

This document does not summarize every case brought or every brief filed. Rather, it aims to convey a holistic story about the impact and scope of the division’s efforts during the Obama Administration.

Beyond the concrete achievements detailed in the enclosed headlines, there are, of course, other less tangible, but equally important, aspects of our work. By ensuring constitutional policing, the division has worked to advance public safety and strengthen the relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

In LGBT rights, in cases on marriage equality and transgender rights, we have made historic statements not only about legal protections but also about human dignity.

And in voting rights, even with the setback of Shelby County v. Holder, the division has continued to vigorously enforce the remaining tools at our disposal, ensuring that eligible voters get to participate in the electoral process with the ease and access that federal law guarantees. The legacy of these efforts will live on for generations to come.

To me, our work has always been about more than just winning cases. In a broader sense, it is about ensuring trust in public institutions to defend the legitimacy of our justice system and the integrity of our democracy.

Over the last two plus years, I have had the privilege to work alongside a team of outstanding colleagues. I know they will continue to advance the division’s mission of equal justice, equal opportunity and equal protection for all with steadfast determination and keen focus on the people who count on us each day to make government deliver results and vindicate rights in their communities.


Vanita Gupta
Head of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice