President-elect Donald Trump stirred mixed reactions with the announcement Friday that he plans to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.
Law enforcement organizations such as the
But despite Trump’s claim that Sessions “is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him,” many civil rights advocates expressed grave concerns over the longtime senator’s civil rights record.
“Sen. Sessions as AG is deeply troubling, and supports an old, ugly history where Civil Rights were not regarded as core American values,” the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People tweeted Friday in response to the news of Sessions’ nomination.
“As the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, the attorney general is charged with protecting the rights of all Americans,” Romero stated, urging that “in his confirmation hearings, senators, the media, and the American public should closely examine his stances on these key issues to ensure we can have confidence in his ability to uphold the Constitution and our laws on behalf of all Americans.”
Since his election to the U.S. Senate in 1997,
Amnesty International USA expressed similar concerns about the Alabama Republican, who is a vocal proponent of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim travel to the U.S. Sessions’ unwaveringly restrictive approach to immigration — illegal or not — earned him the title of
“Jeff Sessions has spent his career trying to use the power of the government to restrict people’s human rights and civil rights,” Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, said in a statement Friday. “People’s right to live free of discrimination and persecution in the United States is at stake, and we are deeply concerned and troubled by this nomination.”
Huang insisted that “Amnesty International’s grassroots members in all 50 states will press their senators to question him vigorously during the conformation [sic] process.”
The announcement also prompted pushback from Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, who blasted Sessions’ “atrocious voting record on environmental issues” as proof “that he absolutely cannot be entrusted to defend and enforce the laws that protect our air, our water, and our communities,” and called on members of the Senate to oppose his appointment as attorney general.
“If President-elect Donald Trump wants to be a president for all Americans, then he should select an attorney general who will defend the rights and liberties of all Americans,” Brune said in a statement Friday, adding that “any senator who believes in justice shouldn’t put Jeff Sessions in charge of ensuring it.”
“If you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible, and women stayed in the kitchen, Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man,” Gutiérrez stated.
In an effort to refute the expected reports rehashing decades-old allegations of racism,
While Hemingway wrote that “Sessions’s actual track record certainly doesn’t suggest he’s a racist, the enthusiastic endorsement of former KKK leader David Duke suggests he at least has the support of some.”