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Vanita Gupta Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Local and federal law enforcement officials are backing Vanita Gupta, President Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general, according to letters sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The Major County Sheriffs of America noted Gupta “emphasized that she does not support efforts to ‘defund the police'” and highlighted her desire to improve criminal justice through methods that include increased training for law enforcement officials.

  • Biden broke from some progressives on the campaign trail when he repeatedly stated that he does not support defunding the police. But he supports other reforms, like increasing the DOJ's oversight of police departments.

The letters of support were sent by the Major County Sheriffs of America and the Federal Law Enforcement Officials Association.

  • In its letter, the Federal Law Enforcement Officials Association praised Gupta’s “dedication toward the advancement of civil rights,” arguing that it should “go a long way towards restoring the public trust.”

The other side: The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group, has launched an ad campaign seeking to challenge Gupta’s nomination. “When our cities burned Gupta could’ve stood for law and order, for victims. Instead she advocated to let convicts out of jail,” the ad claims.

Background: Gupta has a deep background in the civil rights space, previously working for groups like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • She served as acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President Obama.
  • If confirmed, Gupta would be the first woman of color to serve in this role.

What’s next: The letters of support come as Biden seeks to fill top Justice Department positions. Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s pick for attorney general, completed his hearings this week.

  • Gupta’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled for March 9.

Editor's note: The headline has been corrected to reflect that Gupta is the nominee for associate attorney general, not assistant attorney general.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's 2018 reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The suit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that they "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queirog has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.