President Joe Biden has nominated Suffolk County, Mass., District Attorney Rachael Rollins for U.S. Attorney.
Rollins was elected as the first woman of color to serve as district attorney for the state of Massachusetts in 2018. She ran on a platform of curbing mass incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal justice system, according to Boston station WCVB.
If confirmed by the Senate, Rollins would be the second ever Black woman to serve as a U.S. Attorney, and the first Black woman to serve as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.
The Biden Administration announced eight U.S. attorney nominees Monday (July 26). "These individuals — many of whom are historic firsts — were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice," the Biden administration said in a statement.
OPINION: Biden’s First 100 Days In Office Revealed A Hint Of What Black Women Can Do In Government, But It’s Time For Much More
A statement from Rollins’ office reads, "Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is incredibly humbled by the great honor of being nominated by President Biden to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. She remains focused on doing the hard work of keeping the residents of Suffolk County safe."
Rollins has been outspoken about the need for police reform, arguing that people shouldn’t be jailed for crimes that result from mental health or addiction problems, according to the Associated Press. In an interview with the AP in April, Rollins said that the U.S. needs to dispel the idea that suggesting the ways the police can improve means that “you don’t back the blue.”
“The police have an incredibly hard job, and believe me, I know there are violent people that harm community and police but that’s not all of us,” Rollins told AP. “So we have to acknowledge that it’s not working and we have to sit together to come up with solutions, but it’s urgent. I’m afraid, I’m exhausted and I’m the chief law enforcement officer so imagine what other people feel like.”
Massachusetts senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren released a joint statement in support of Rollins. "District Attorney Rollins is a national leader on transforming the criminal justice system and shifting away from an approach based on punishment and penalization to one that combats the root causes of injustice, whether it be poverty, substance use, or racial disparity,” the statement read.
It continued, “She has prosecutorial experience and is dedicated and committed to advancing equal justice for all, and we are certain that she will be a tremendous U.S. Attorney. We will work to make sure she is confirmed as quickly as possible.”
Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Image