Civil Rights / Trump Administration

Opposition to Sessions Nomination Grows

This week  members of the NAACP sparked the opposition to Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General – Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions – by sitting in several of his Alabama field offices.

In addition, 1330  law professors from 178 schools in 49 states urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the nomination..  The letter explains:

In 1986, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, in a bipartisan vote, rejected President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of then-U.S. Attorney Sessions for a federal judgeship, due to statements Sessions had made that reflected prejudice against African Americans. Nothing in Senator Sessions’ public life since 1986 has convinced us that he is a different man than the 39-year-old attorney who was deemed too racially insensitive to be a federal district court judge.

Some of us have concerns about his misguided prosecution of three civil rights activists for voter fraud in Alabama in 1985, and his consistent promotion of the myth of voter-impersonation fraud. Some of us have concerns about his support for building a wall along our country’s southern border. Some of us have concerns about his robust support for regressive drug policies that have fueled mass incarceration. Some of us have concerns about his questioning of the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change. Some of us have concerns about his repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community. Some of us share all of these concerns.

All of us believe it is unacceptable for someone with Senator Sessions’ record to lead the Department of Justice.  The Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer in the United States, with broad jurisdiction and prosecutorial discretion, which means that, if confirmed, Jeff Sessions would be responsible for the enforcement of the nation’s civil rights, voting, immigration, environmental, employment, national security, surveillance, antitrust, and housing laws.


Senator Sessions Woefully Inadequate Senate Judiciary Questionnaire
Analysis and Commentary from LDF
Additional analysis and commentary
Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, “Did Jeff Sessions Champion Desegregation?” (2016)
Lani Guinier, “Who were the Marion Three?” from Lift Every Voice