ACLU-NJ releases priorities for next AG, including reducing mass incarceration, protecting immigrants, and ensuring transparency
In light of Governor-elect Phil Murphy's nomination of Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal to the position of New Jersey attorney general, the ACLU-NJ has released a list of civil liberties priorities (PDF) for the next holder of the office spanning criminal justice reform, the rights of immigrants, transparency, and economic justice.
Appointed by Governor Chris Christie as Acting Bergen County Prosecutor in 2016, Grewal previously served as a longtime federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York and the District of New Jersey. He has been a leader and active member of the South Asian Bar Associations in New Jersey and New York and a member of the New Jersey Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association.
Grewal would be the first Sikh attorney general nationally and the first South Asian attorney general in New Jersey's history.
The following statement can be attributed to Amol Sinha, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Jersey:
"New Jersey's next attorney general will have an impact on our state's justice landscape in every aspect of New Jerseyans' lives. The ACLU-NJ looks forward to working with Gurbir Grewal in the state's top law enforcement position, and we hope to collaborate to advance policies that further the civil rights, civil liberties, safety, and freedom of all New Jerseyans. And as always, we will fulfill our duty as advocates to hold the attorney general accountable to his pledge to defend the state Constitution.
"New Jersey has an opportunity to show the rest of the country what resistance looks like at a time when our federal leadership has shown disdain for civil rights. Our attorney general holds great power to make New Jersey a civil rights leader, and we at the ACLU will do everything in our power to make sure our state carries out the mandate from the people to embody the values of democracy.
"With this appointment, Grewal would become the first Sikh attorney general in the U.S. and the first South Asian attorney general in New Jersey. Choosing a leader who reflects the cultural and religious diversity of our state and our country marks an important moment for New Jersey and for all of America.
"Our attorney general will have the power to make decisions determining the most fundamental parts of a person's life: whether they live their lives in cages or in freedom, whether police officers will be held to account for their actions, and whether immigrants feel compelled to hide in the shadows or participate in civic life. The role of AG is an enormous, solemn responsibility, and we look forward to working with Mr. Grewal to make strides that make New Jerseyans' lives better, fairer, and more free."