Obama Picks Perez to Head Labor Department

March 18, 2013

President Obama has picked the Justice Department’s top civil rights enforcer, Thomas Perez, to be his next Labor secretary.

Obama noted that under Perez, the civil rights division settled the three largest fair-lending cases for unfair mortgage lending practices. Perez also challenged voter identification laws in South Carolina and Texas and substantially increased enforcement of human trafficking laws.

Perez has a long career in public service. Before he was appointed to run the civil rights division at Justice in October 2009, Perez was chosen by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to head the state’s Department of Labor. He also served on the Montgomery County, Md., Council, spent time as an aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and spent nearly 12 years in federal government. Most of that time was spent as an attorney in the civil rights division.

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