Trump could reshape Justice Department’s civil rights focus

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as he speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Concord, N.C. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Donald Trump administration could radically reshape the Justice Department, particularly civil rights efforts that became one of its most pressing and high-profile priorities over the past eight years.

During that time it’s been guided by the country’s first two black attorneys general, both appointed by the first black president.

The department has investigated about two dozen police agencies for civil rights violations and reached court-enforceable consent decrees with many of them. It refused to defend a federal law that banned the recognition of gay marriage. It sued North Carolina over a bathroom bill that it said discriminated against transgender people.

But Trump’s election has stirred concern from civil rights advocates that some of that work could be undone, set aside or at least minimized.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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