CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION
A FACT SHEET
The announcement of Deval Patrick, a distinguished attorney and
compassionate advocate, as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
continues the Clinton Administration's active involvement in civil
President Clinton has assembled a highly qualified team that
includes the most diverse group of presidential advisers ever to
sit in a president's cabinet. Five African-Americans, two
Hispanics, and six women are members of the Clinton cabinet.
A record high 61% of the President's nominees to the federal bench have
been women and minorities.
President Clinton broke the gridlock in Washington and signed the
Motor Voter Bill, which expands voting rights for all, including
the poor and the young, by creating new voter
The President signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration
Act, which restores protection for religious exercise by
restricting government actions that substantially interfere with
President Clinton appointed highly-acclaimed civil rights leader
Mary Frances Berry to be chair of the U.S. Civil Rights
President Clinton's civil rights policy extends beyond enforcing
existing civil rights laws. It seeks to create real opportunity and
empowerment. As the President has said, "The absence of discrimination
is not the same thing as the presence of opportunity."
The Clinton civil rights policy emphasizes justice, opportunity, and
The Clinton civil rights policy empowers people by providing
valuable tools to help them succeed, such as:
Universal and Guaranteed Health Care
Small Business Assistance
Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit
Family & Medical Leave
Affordable Student Loans
Community Development Banks
A Strengthened Community Reinvestment Act
The Clinton Administration's civil rights policy is broad-based and
enforced throughout the entire federal government. No longer does the
weight of civil rights enforcement fall solely on one department's
shoulders; every department develops, implements, and enforces civil
rights policy. For example:
The Administration argued in federal court to expand the
interpretation of the Voting Rights Act.
The Justice Department Civil Rights Division filed a record 140 cases
last year to enforce fair housing laws, a 35% increase from the number
of cases filed in 1992.
The Department of Housing & Urban Development has aggressively fought
to knock down discriminatory barriers, actively intervening to
integrate a once segregated public housing complex in Vidor, Texas.
The Treasury Department, working with the Justice Department, ordered
a Mississippi bank that denied loans because of race to implement a
remedial lending plan for minority customers.
The Justice Department obtained an agreement from a South Dakota bank
that charged higher interest rates to Native Americans to compensate
minority borrowers and remedy its lending practices.
For the first time since the Age Discrimination Act was passed in
1975, the Department of Education issued regulations needed to
implement the law. Prior administrations had failed to release the
The Labor Department collected over $34.5 million in back pay and
other financial remedies for discrimination victims, an increase of 12%
from the year before.
The Department of Health & Human Services helped to develop language
for the Health Security Act that ensures equal access and civil rights
protections in health care reform.
The Department of Commerce awarded 15% of its procurement business to
minority- owned businesses in 1993.
The Attorney General added 10 new staff people and approved a
toll-free hotline to respond to complaints under the Americans with
Disabilities Act. The Justice Department has awarded technical
assistance grants to speed compliance with the ADA and has resolved
complaints to make public accommodations, courtrooms, and other
government and private facilities accessible to people with
The Environmental Protection Agency identified 20 environmental
justice pilot projects to be undertaken across the country to redevelop
contaminated sites in low- income communities and turn them into useable
space, creating jobs and enhancing community development.