Washington, D.C. — Today, officials from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been selected to be the attorney general of the United States.
Center for American Progress President and CEO Neera Tanden issued the following statement:
The President-elect continues to bring the dark and divisive tone of his campaign into his new administration. Much like Steve Bannon, Senator Sessions is a dangerous choice to fulfill the duty of the country’s attorney general. The Attorney General is the Attorney General of the United States and all people, not just the President-elect and his supporters. No person with a history of blatantly racist rhetoric should stand in a position that represents our rule of law and the rights of the American people, particularly those who are most vulnerable to discrimination.
With this appointment, Donald Trump is clearly signaling that he will continue to cater to the nativist wing of his party. We cannot allow our country to turn back the clock on civil rights for women, people of color, and LGBT communities.
At a time when millions are seeking commonsense solutions to our criminal justice and immigration systems, Senator Sessions poses a real threat to the hope and progress that so many have built.
Sen. Sessions has a controversial history, dating back to 1986 when a bipartisan Senate panel rejected his appointment for federal judgeship as the hearings uncovered reports that he called the NAACP “Communist-inspired” and “un-American” and accused the organization’s white civil rights attorney a “traitor to his race.” Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – a landmark law aimed to prohibit racial discrimination in voting – a “piece of intrusive legislation” and has a long history of opposition to civil rights. Session is also one of the leading voices of the anti-immigrant movement, opposing both the 2006 and 2013 bipartisan immigration reform bills and calling for an end to birthright citizenship.
Sen. Jeff Sessions’ voting record includes: opposition to the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and the removal of the Confederate flag from state property.
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