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FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1976 file photo, Ramsey Clark, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, center, speaks at Lincoln Center in New York. Ramsey Clark, the attorney general in the Johnson administration who became an outspoken activist for unpopular causes and a harsh critic of U.S. policy, has died, Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 93. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff, File) Ramsey Clark, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, center, speaks at Lincoln Center in New York, Sept. 14, 1976. Clark, the attorney general in the Johnson administration who became an outspoken activist for unpopular causes and a harsh critic of U.S. policy, died, Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 93. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff, File)

The recent death of former Attorney  General Ramsey Clark marks both the end of an era—he was the last surviving member of President Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet—and also a reminder of the essential and appropriate role the Attorney General of the United States can and should play in upholding our nation’s commitment to the rule of law.

Clark’s death at age 93 comes after a long career as a principled, if often maddening legal advocate in defense of human rights and the rule of law. His work stands in sharp contrast to the men who held that office during the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, whose actions served primarily to advance the President’s political agenda while undermining the independence of the office and weakening or eliminating protections of the law for those who most depend on them. And it can serve as a model for the current Attorney General who has repeatedly stated he wants an independent Justice Department.

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