President Trump will announce his new pick for Labor Secretary at a 12:00 News Conference today. Media is reporting it is R. Alexander Acosta.
Here is a brief description of Mr. Acosta provided during his time with President George W. Bush. He received recognition from MALDEF.
Assistant Attorney General R. Alexander Acosta
R. Alexander Acosta was selected by President Bush to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice on August 22, 2003. The Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights statutes, including those statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, and national origin in education, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and certain federally funded and conducted programs.
Prior to his service as Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Acosta served as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"), an independent federal agency responsible for administering and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act, the principal private-sector national statute regulating labor relations. Mr. Acosta has also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division.
A native of Miami, Florida, Mr. Acosta earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his law degree from the Harvard Law School. After graduation, he served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and then worked at the Washington office of the Kirkland and Ellis law firm, where he specialized in employment and labor issues.
Mr. Acosta is the first Hispanic to serve as an Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice. He is the 2003 recipient of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund's Excellence in Government Service Award and the DC Hispanic Bar Association's Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award. He has also taught several classes on employment law, disability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason School of Law.
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R. Alexander Acosta
R. Alexander Acosta became the second dean of the FIU Law in 2009. A native of Miami and first-generation lawyer, Dean Acosta earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Harvard Law School. After serving as law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Dean Acosta practiced law at the firm of Kirkland & Ellis and taught law at the George Mason School of Law.
Dean Acosta has served in three presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed positions. He was a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. He went on to be the first Hispanic to hold the rank of Assistant Attorney General. Most recently, Dean Acosta served as the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida, and was the longest serving U.S. Attorney in the District since the 1970s.
While Dean Acosta served as U.S. Attorney, the Southern District prosecuted a number of high-profile defendants, including Jack Abramoff for fraud, Jose Padilla for terrorism, Charles “Chuckie” Taylor Jr. for torture, (the first torture case of its kind in the U.S.), and the Cali Cartel founders Miguel and Gilberto Rodriquez-Orejuela for the importation of 200,000 kilos of cocaine, which resulted in a $2.1 billion forfeiture. The District also targeted white collar crime, prosecuting several bank-related cases, including one against Swiss Bank UBS. The case resulted in UBS paying $780 million in fines, and for the first time in history, the bank provided the United States with the names of individuals who were using secret Swiss bank accounts to avoid U.S. taxes. Under Dean Acosta’s leadership, the District also focused on health care fraud and because the top district in the nation in health care fraud prosecution, charged more than 700 individuals responsible for more than $2 billion in fraud.
Dean Acosta additionally serves as the Chairman of U.S. Century Bank, the largest domestically-owned Hispanic community bank in Florida and one of the fifteen largest Hispanic community banks in the nation. He spearheaded the effort to establish the J.M. degree in banking compliance, BSA and anti-money-laundering at FIU Law. Dean Acosta also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Gulliver Schools, and has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine. He was named to the list of 100 most influential individuals in business ethics in 2008. He serves or has served on the Florida Innocence Commission, on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, on the Florida Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, and on the American Bar Association’s Commission for Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities. In 2013, the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented Dean Acosta with the Chairman’s Higher Education Award in recognition of his “outstanding achievements, leadership and determination throughout a lifetime of caring and giving back to the community.”
R. Alexander Acosta
Chair of the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities and Dean, College of Law, at Florida International University.
Acosta focused his remarks on education, an issue that “undergirds many other issues” in the Latino community, he said. Florida International University College of Law graduates the highest percentage of Latinos of any ranked law school in the country, and is housed at a university that is almost 80 percent Latino, Acosta noted. Latino law students face many challenges, including a lack of role models, a lack of sophistication about the educational system, and a lack of
knowledge about how to prepare for law school.
Cultural factors can influence Latino students as well, Acosta said. The centrality of family to many Latinos sometimes causes students or recent graduates to curtail career opportunities. Often students must drop out or suspend their studies in order to work to support the family, Acosta said. In addition, recent graduates sometimes hesitate to accept excellent jobs or clerkships if they require them to leave their family’s geographic area. The percentage of Latino law grads is actually declining, Acosta noted. “When you’re not advancing as a group, you’re retrogressing,” he said, which means “we need to start thinking about these issues.”
Acosta also spoke about challenges facing Latino students at the secondary school level. Latinos, who make up about 25 percent of public school students nationwide, are over-represented in the public school system relative to their numbers in the population, he said. Latino dropout rates are very high. In South Florida, historically, for example, 21 percent of all high school students—many of them Latino—drop out after ninth grade. Only 50 percent of entering freshmen end up graduating from public high school. Some join gangs, but Acosta said, prosecuting gang members is not the answer. For every two gang members that are convicted “you get four more” because so many young people are out of school. But, Acosta said, “the school to prison pipeline is just part of the problem...If you don’t solve the educational problem you are going to have all sorts of problems in terms of socioeconomic status...housing, and other issues. These are fundamental problems that need to be solved because they lead to all the secondary issues we’re talking about,” Acosta said.
From the ABA Spring 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACHES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH OKLAHOMA SCHOOL DISTRICT IN MUSLIM STUDENT HEADSCARF CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice today announced the settlement of a lawsuit alleging that the Muskogee, Oklahoma Public School District had violated the constitutional rights of a sixth-grade Muslim girl when it barred her from wearing a Muslim headscarf, or hijab. Under the consent agreement signed by the parties, the school district will allow the girl to wear the headscarf and will revise its student dress code policy to accommodate exceptions for bona fide religious reasons.
“This settlement reaffirms the principle that public schools cannot require students to check their faith at the school house door,” said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate discrimination against Muslims or any other religious group. As the President and the Attorney General have made clear repeatedly, such intolerance is un-American, and is morally despicable.”
The Justice Department intervened in this case in March 2004, after an investigation revealed that the school district prohibited the student, Nashala Hearn, from wearing her hijab at Benjamin Franklin Science Academy, a public middle school in Muskogee. The investigation further uncovered that while Hearn was prohibited from wearing her hijab, the school district allowed certain other students to wear head coverings for non-religious purposes. During the 2003-04 school year, the school district twice suspended Nashala Hearn for wearing the hijab. Later, she was permitted her to wear the hijab pending the outcome of the suit.
The parties today signed a proposed consent decree, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, resolving the lawsuit. Under the six-year agreement, which remains subject to court approval, the school district will amend its dress code to permit head coverings for bona fide religious reasons and will allow Hearn to wear her hijab while attending the Muskogee Public Schools. The district will also implement a training program for all teachers and administrators regarding the amended dress code, publicize the revised dress code policy to students and parents and certify its compliance with the terms of the order for a four-year period.
The Civil Rights Division is involved in a number of ongoing religious liberty cases in schools and many other contexts. More information about these cases may be found at www.usdoj.gov/crt/religdisc/religdisc.html.
A Tale of Two Nominees
by Jim Boulet Jr. July 8, 2003
Why do Estrada opponents adore Acosta? Two Hispanic men of achievement have been suggested for high office by the Bush administration. You have undoubtedly heard of Miguel Estrada, a Bush judicial nominee who is the victim of a filibuster by Senate Democrats. You may soon hear of R. Alexander Acosta, whose prospective nomination as assistant attorney general for civil rights has provoked praise from the same foes of official English who oppose Estrada.
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), while tepid regarding the Estrada nomination, is red hot in its support for Acosta because:
During his tenure at DOJ, Mr. Acosta played a pivotal role in the Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) Guidance enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires recipients of federal financial assistance to provide language assistance to LEP persons.
The Justice Department’s own press release on Acosta also refers to an award to Acosta from the “Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund.”
The group’s actual name, according to the Associated Press is the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). MALDEF is strongly opposed to the Estrada nomination.
MALDEF gave Acosta its “Excellence in Government Service Award” this year “for his work on language minority issues, including initiatives on language access to government-funded services” (emphasis added).
The language “initiatives” commended by MALDEF are all tied to Clinton Executive Order 13166. E.O. 13166 requires all recipients of federal funds to function in Spanish, or any other language in the world, upon demand. So-called “Hispanic-rights groups” see nothing wrong with making Spanish coequal with English in the United States, even if the people those groups claim to represent are busy learning English.
Obviously, winning an endorsement from an anti-English group like the NCLR as well as an award from MALDEF does not constitute infallible proof that Acosta is himself anti-English.
Friends of mine assure me that Acosta was personally opposed to many of the anti-English policies he acted to strengthen. Or they say that Acosta was merely doing the bidding of his superiors. All of those things could well be true. And therein lies the problem.
As a rule, when a Democratic president makes a “historic first” nomination, his people ensure the nominee is firmly one of them ideologically. When Republican presidents pick people as the “first woman this” or “first Hispanic that,” the nominee’s ideology seems an afterthought at best. Accordingly, liberals get Janet Reno while conservatives get Sandra Day O’Connor. And the records of “stealth conservatives” like David Souter are not encouraging.
If MALDEF and NCLR are proven right about Acosta — and their track record says they will be — he is the wrong choice on both political and policy grounds.
To appoint a supporter of E.O. 13166 like Acosta as the chief law-enforcement officer for Clinton’s misguided language policy will ensure that all the expensive fallout from Clinton’s linguistic pandering lands at the doorstep of President George W. Bush. This is dreadful politics.
E.O. 13166 is also simply awful policy. It says to every immigrant: “don’t bother to learn English. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.” That is not the American way that, for over 200 years, turned millions of immigrants into proud, productive American citizens.
If the Bush administration is determined to name the first Hispanic to the post of assistant attorney general for civil rights, there are undoubtedly plenty of distinguished Hispanic lawyers who agree with Linda Chavez’s thinking about E.O. 13166. Such a nominee would ensure a sound language policy for the Bush administration.
As Morton Blackwell has taught generations of conservatives, “sound doctrine is sound politics.” He’s right. — Jim Boulet Jr. is executive director of English First.
Trump Nominates EX NLRB Member Acosta as Labor Secretary
Do not know if R. Alexander Acosta has been confirmed by the Senate as of today
Thank you Kat for bringing this thread up once more :)
John......Looks like his confirmation hearing which was scheduled for today has been postponed.
Thank you Kat
If there any more threads you would like to have shown bring them up and will post to them maybe not what the thread started out as . . . .
We have lost some that regularly posted and for that am sorry we need all hands working together until we can get a new leader for the group :)
John does anybody have any person in mind for the leaders job.!
I have put up several postings, a few are getting thru but not many
Must be doing something wrong
No one has came foreword and offered as far as I know
I will start doing what it was that I did before and still put up the other postings