Kalpana Kotagal was nominated because of her legal experience, but records show she worked for a radical who calls the police a tool of white supremacy and who wants to abolish the police.
When individuals are nominated to serve in Senate Confirmed positions in the federal government they are required to file the Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e). These disclosures provide an important insight into conflicts of interest and the priorities of the nominees. Particularly for lawyers like Kotagal, they show us who they chose to represent. For activist attorneys like Kotagal it is even more important because it shows what lawfare agenda they will bring to public office.
Unfortunately for the American people Kalpana Kotagal has represented radicals who are far outside the mainstream of American thought. Of particularly note is Kotagal's representation of Liyah Brown, Legal Director at the Texas Civil Rights Project. From Kotegal's disclosure:
It is important to understand who Brown is and what type of radial prescription she has for American public policy. Put simply, Ms. Brown is anti-police and wants to destroy the law enforcement community in the United States. Brown has called the police a tool of white supremacy and called for the abolition of police.
From her article "How We’re Fighting Texas’ Racist Criminal System."
Police and prisons are institutions of White supremacy rooted in chattel slavery. This grave historical truth warrants total abolition instead of mere tweaks for “better” plantations and overseers. We reject the mass funneling of Black and Brown people into jails, prisons, juvenile, and immigration detention. We aim to reduce the harms of the criminal legal system while working towards a public safety agenda centered on crime prevention and on freedom. Long-term abolition includes many practical steps that can be taken now such as decriminalization, decarceration, and divestment.
This was not an isolated comment. In an interview published in Law360, Brown reiterated her call to defund the police.
[QUESTION]Right now, a lot of conversations that have been going on among reformers and activists, such as the argument for defunding the police, have started happening in the mainstream as well. What's your take on what this might mean?
[LIYAH BROWN]I am very hopeful, for so many reasons. It's not even in my nature to be an optimist. But ... these are not new ideas. These are not new concepts. These are not new tactics. They've been workshopped by abolitionists for decades.
Even though it's taken so long for this kind of conversation to enter the mainstream, it is in the mainstream. I don't think that reforms are achieved when it's just the directly impacted group trying to achieve them. Civil rights, voting rights, desegregation — I'm not a person who believes that we moved in that direction just because black people [were pushing for it]. That this is a mainstream conversation, and that there's diversity of demographics in this conversation and a diversity of perspectives, makes me encouraged. "Defund the police" doesn't sound as scary, I think, today as it might have sounded two years ago or five years ago.
Brown has been a life-long activist supporting these radical and problematic policies for years.
This should lead the American People to the obvious question of why would someone who wants to serve in a senior leadership position in American government be working in lockstep with an individual who maligns police by calling them white supremacists and who endanger American communities by calling for the defunding the police.
It is unclear whether Ms. Kotagal will disavow her relationship with someone who thinks police are racist and who wants to leave American communities unprotected.