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Eric Dreiband ’86: U.S. Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division

<h5>Eric Dreiband ’86 sits for an official Department of Justice portrait.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Department of Justice <a href="https://www.justice.gov/crt/staff-profile/assistant-attorney-general" target="_self">website</a></h6>
Eric Dreiband ’86 sits for an official Department of Justice portrait.
Courtesy of Department of Justice website

Since 2018, Eric Dreiband has led the Department of Justice’s storied Civil Rights Division. His tenure has seen controversy, which began when civil rights activists decried his nomination.

Last month, Dreiband’s division sued Yale University for “illegal discrimination” against white and Asian American applicants. Announcing the lawsuit, Dreiband said, “Illegal race discrimination by colleges and universities must end.”

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Dreiband also celebrated the Michigan Supreme Court’s striking down of state-wide pandemic restrictions. “The Constitution does not permit any public official unlawfully to restrict our liberty,” he remarked.

In June, Dreiband wrote to Montgomery County, Md., officials, expressing First Amendment concerns about freedom to worship during the pandemic. He contrasted the county’s worship restrictions with a Black Lives Matter protest, which supposedly involved “hundreds of people packed into a library.” At the time, however, the library was closed.

In 2016, while in private practice, Dreiband defended the University of North Carolina policy that compelled transgender people to use bathrooms that corresponded to their assigned sex assigned. He was general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2003 to 2005.

At Princeton, Dreiband played football. In 2012, he authored a letter, which garnered over 200 alumni signatures, to then-President Shirley Tilghman, asking her to “personally act to help restore Princeton’s winning football tradition.” He graduated with an A.B. in history.


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