As associate attorney general, Gupta will oversee the DOJ’s efforts on civil litigation and law enforcement issues.
Gupta had served under former President Obama as the head of the DOJ’s civil rights division, where she directed a similar investigation into police in Ferguson, Mo., following the 2014 killing of Michael Brown by a white officer.
During her confirmation process, Gupta has garnered widespread support from law enforcement organizations and conservative figures such as Grover Norquist. Democrats and civil rights activists have thrown their weight behind her nomination, applauding her commitment to the principles of equal justice.
Senate Republicans had put up stiff opposition to her nomination, portraying her as an anti-police radical.
After leaving the Justice Department at the end of the Obama administration, Gupta spent the past four years as the president and CEO of the nonprofit Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
“I wish I could take it back,” she continued. “I can’t, but what I can commit to you and ask that you do is look at my lifelong record. I have, from early on in my career, sought out people who don’t always think like me, people who have very different views, because I believe in the importance of consensus to get things done.”
Gupta eked through the confirmation vote with the help of Murkowski, who said on the floor before the vote that she had been impressed by Gupta’s record despite finding some of her comments concerning.
“I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated through her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice,” Murkowski said.