Today, it is being widely reported that Donald Trump will name Alabama senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to serve as Attorney General for the United States. Project Vote president Michael Slater issued the following statement in response.
“The role of the Attorney General of the United States is to serve as the chief lawyer, and the chief law-enforcement officer, for the American people.
“Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has proven, throughout his career, that he does not represent the interests of all Americans. We call on Mr. Trump to reconsider his choice, and we call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to roundly reject the appointment should it move forward.
“This would not be the first time the Judiciary Committee has rejected Jeff Sessions. In 1986, that committee rightfully deemed that Mr. Sessions was unfit for the federal bench, after troubling allegations of racism were brought forth from people who had worked with him.
“The late Senator Edward Kennedy, who served on that committee, summarized how Sessions was unfit for any role enforcing and administering justice.
“‘Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era which I know both black and white Americans thought was in our past,’ Sen. Kennedy said. ‘It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. Attorney, let alone a U.S. federal judge. He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department, and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.’
“There is little evidence that Sessions has changed in the intervening 30 years. As a U.S. senator, Sessions has opposed marriage equality, a woman’s right to choose, the Affordable Care Act, the Violence Against Women Act, hate-crimes legislation, bills to prohibit torture of U.S. prisoners, and all paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He has called the Voting Rights Act a ‘piece of intrusive legislation,’ and praised the Supreme Court’s disastrous gutting of the bill in 2013. He refuses to recognize that discrimination in voting laws still exists in certain states. He criticized former Attorney General Eric Holder for challenging states on suppressive voting laws. He criticized President Obama for failing to perpetuate the myth of voting by undocumented immigrants. He has called civil rights groups ‘un-American’ and ‘Communist’ because they ‘forced civil rights down the throats of people.’
“It is unthinkable that such a man should be in charge of enforcing and protecting civil rights for the American people. If Mr. Trump is serious about being a president for ‘all Americans’—including people of color—then how the federal government ensures and implements ‘justice’ must not, and cannot, be determined by a man like Jefferson Sessions. As an organization dedicated to protecting civil and voting rights, Project Vote is outraged that Mr. Trump would name Sessions to this vital post, and we commit ourselves to opposing his installation in the Justice Department.”