President Barack Obama will nominate Thomas Perez, currently the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, to be the next secretary of labor, Politico reports.
Perez is well-regarded by organized labor and his tenure as the head of the civil rights division has been praised by civil rights groups. But he’s long been a target of the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley’s concerns revolve around Perez’s involvement in a Minnesota fair housing case. The division has also come under fire from Republicans over its handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case, but an Inspector General’s report released last week did not conclude that the decision to narrow the case, which was made before Perez was confirmed, was based on racial or political bias.
If confirmed, Perez would likely be the most progressive member of Obama’s cabinet, which is reason enough for Republicans to fight his nomination.