Unacceptable: Jeff Sessions for Attorney General
His appointment would threaten the rights of millions of Americans
President Donald Trump has nominated Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the United States, a cabinet-level position which requires confirmation by the US Senate. This process begin with hearings conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will continue with a committee vote on January 24, followed soon thereafter by a vote in the full Senate.
What does the Attorney General do?
- The Attorney General is head of the federal Department of Justice (DOJ), charged with ensuring “the fair and impartial administration of justice to all Americans” (from DOJ website). He/she has significant responsibility over voting rights, immigration law, employment discrimination, government surveillance, sexual assault and hate crimes prevention, and judicial appointments. Senator Sessions has a longstanding record on all of these issues that makes him an unacceptable candidate.
Why is Sessions unacceptable?
- In 1986, President Reagan nominated Sessions to be a federal District Judge in Alabama. The Senate Judiciary Committee refused to confirm this appointment because Sessions had repeatedly made racist comments while serving as a federal prosecutor and had initiated groundless investigations of “voter fraud” in an effort to discourage the registration and mobilization of African American voters.
- In 2006, Sen. Sessions supported a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and in 2009, he voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was the first federal legislation to cover hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- In 2009, Sen. Sessions voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which sought to ensure that women workers could sue their employers for unequal pay even if substantial time had passed before they became aware of the pay disparities.
- In 2013, Sen. Sessions voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
- In 2013, when a 5-justice conservative majority on the US Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Senator Sessions praised the decision. Since that time, he has opposed efforts to restore and update the Voting Rights Act.
- In 2015, Senator Sessions supported proposed legislation that would have cracked down on Sanctuary Cities for undocumented immigrants.
What can I do?
- Stop Sessions Now. Call your US Senators and urge them to speak out forcefully in opposition to Sessions’ confirmation.
- Senator Charles Schumer (Syracuse office): (315) 423-5471
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Syracuse office): (315) 448-0470
- Join the CNY Solidarity Coalition. We meet most Sundays at 3pm, and all are welcome. For more info: (315) 472-5478, CNYSolidarity@gmail.com, https://cnysolidarity.org/, https://www.facebook.com/cnysolidarity/, @IndivisibleNY24.