Tell the Senate: Jeff Sessions Is Too Hateful and Dangerous to Serve as Attorney General
In 1986 Congress determined that Jeff Sessions was too racist to serve as a federal judge. But this is the man that Trump nominated to serve as attorney general — and his confirmation hearing is next week.
Hostility toward people of color, women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community have been a central theme of Sessions’ long, disgraceful Senate career. He's tried time and again to block the federal government from stopping discrimination against these communities.
Here's a fraction of the many reasons that Sessions is a dangerous, disastrous pick for our nation’s top law enforcement officer:
• Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he found out some members smoked marijuana.1
• He attacked the NAACP and ACLU as “un-American” for “forcing civil rights down the throats of people.”2
• He was one of the first supporters of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country.3
• He’s opposed nearly every immigration bill put forward in the last two decades that’s included a path to citizenship.4
• He opposes same-sex marriage as well as sexual relationships between same-sex partners.5
• Confronted with Trump’s remarks about grabbing women by their genitals, Sessions said it would be a “stretch” to “characterize that as sexual assault.”6
• He voted against the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.7
• He referred to a white attorney who took on voting-rights cases as a “traitor to his race,” and has faced allegations that he used the n-word to describe a Democratic official in Alabama.8
• He’s repeatedly worked to block NSA privacy reforms, including the mild reforms put in place under the USA Freedom Act.9
• He sided with the FBI in its effort to force Apple to break the iPhone’s encryption, and has pushed legislation that would force technology companies to turn over customers’ private information to law enforcement.10
• He's an old friend of Breitbart News, the site that mainstreamed white nationalism and has promoted racism, misogyny and other forms of hate.11
• In the 1986 confirmation hearing that led to the rejection of Sessions as a federal judge, witnesses testified that he referred to a black attorney as “boy,” and described the Voting Rights Act as “intrusive.”12
If confirmed, Sessions would be the nation's most powerful law enforcement agent, with broad control over federal law enforcement and criminal prosecution across the country. He would have the power to change the Justice Department's priorities, impacting everything from civil rights and police reform to voting rights and protections for the LGBTQ community.
Tell the Senate: Jeff Sessions was too racist for the ’80s and he's too racist now. His nomination must be blocked.
1. “Sessions Dogged by Old Allegations of Racism,” CNN, Nov. 18, 2016: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/jeff-sessions-racism-allegations/
2. “Sessions Dogged by Old Allegations of Racism,” CNN, Nov. 18, 2016: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/jeff-sessions-racism-allegations/
3. “Sessions: Trump Travel Ban Could Include Egypt,” CNN, June 20, 2016: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/19/politics/jeff-sessions-donald-trump-muslim-ban/
4. “Amnesty’s Worst Enemy,” National Review, Aug. 6, 2014: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/384665/amnestys-worst-enemy-eliana-johnson
5. “Jeff Sessions a ‘Deeply Disturbing’ Attorney General Pick, Says LGBTQ Rights Group,” NBC, Nov. 19, 2016: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/jeff-sessions-deeply-disturbing-attorney-general-pick-says-lgbtq-rights-n686006
6. “Jeff Sessions: Behavior Described by Trump in Tape Isn’t Sexual Assault,” Weekly Standard, Oct. 10, 2016: http://www.weeklystandard.com/jeff-sessions-behavior-described-by-trump-in-grab-them-by-the-p-y-tape-isnt-sexual-assault/article/2004799
7. “U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote on 2013 Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act”: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00019
8. “Will Jeff Sessions Roll Back Civil-Rights Protections?” The Atlantic, Nov. 18, 2016: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/trumps-pick-for-attorney-general-foreshadows-a-civil-rights-rollback/508172/
9. “Jeff Sessions’ Nomination as Attorney General Alarms Civil Libertarians,” Wired, Nov. 18, 2016: https://www.wired.com/2016/11/jeff-sessions-nomination-attorney-general-alarms-civil-libertarians/
10. “Jeff Sessions’ Nomination as Attorney General Alarms Civil Libertarians,” Wired, Nov. 18, 2016: https://www.wired.com/2016/11/jeff-sessions-nomination-attorney-general-alarms-civil-libertarians/
11. “Jeff Sessions’ Relationship With Breitbart, the Platform for the White-Nationalist Alt-Right, Should Be Disqualifying,” Huffington Post, Jan. 3, 2017: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marge-baker/jeff-sessions-relationshi_b_13941372.html
12. “Sessions Dogged by Old Allegations of Racism,” CNN, Nov. 18, 2016: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/jeff-sessions-racism-allegations/
Original image by Flickr user Gage Skidmore