William Lucas, a Black American attorney from Detroit, Michigan, is nominated assistant attorney general for civil rights by President George Bush.
1989 (Feb 24)
William Lucas, a Black American attorney from Detroit, Michigan, was nominated assistant attorney general for civil rights by President George Bush. This appointment would also make him director of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Lucas, a 1962 graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, first joined the Justice Department in 1963 and represented the government in efforts to desegregate the public schools of Tuskegee, Alabama. He also served on the New York Police Department, was sheriff and executive of Wayne County, Michigan (of which Detroit is the county seat), and lost as the Republican candidate for governor of Michigan in 1986. The nomination of Lucas was applauded by conservative groups. Patrick B. McGuigan, a leader of the Free Congress Foundation, "a conservative research organization" in Washington, D.C., called the selection "brilliant," adding that Lucas was “a fine, courageous man who, in his career, has been willing to put himself on the line." However, it also drew expressions of concern from national civil rights organizations, however, because Lucas had indicated "that he generally opposes quotas to advance the interests of minority groups" and because of his long absence from federal service. Elaine R. Jones, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., charged that "it doesn't appear at first glance that he has had any substantial experience in this area in 20 years."