Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Michele Jawando on Committee Vote of Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Michele Jawando on Committee Vote of Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary voted to move along the nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general. Michele Jawando, Vice President of Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

On Monday, President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for respecting the rule of law and honoring her oath to follow the U.S. Constitution, not the desires of the president. The Trump administration’s recent actions—launching assaults on women, people of color, LGBT rights, and vulnerable communities—are a stark reminder of the crucial role of the attorney general.

Today’s committee vote to advance the nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general on the heels of Yates’ firing is appalling. The man who would be charged with ensuring the rule of law has a history of using divisive rhetoric and blocking progress on civil rights. As a federal prosecutor, Sessions charged three black voting rights activists with fraud in what can only be understood as an attempt to suppress voters of color. And instead of advancing commonsense solutions for our criminal justice and immigration systems, Sessions has opposed them. He once voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Sessions opposes LGBT rights and maintains close relationships with extremist anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim groups. Sessions even laid the groundwork for Trump’s blatantly unconstitutional Muslim ban.

Sessions has spent his career opposing the very rights he would be responsible for enforcing. He also shows a disqualifying lack of independence from Trump, whose total disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law has become more evident with each passing day. It is clear that Jeff Sessions is an advocate for Donald Trump, not the American people. Under Sessions, the U.S. Department of Justice will be more likely to break the law than to uphold it.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya Arditi at [email protected] or 202.741.6258.

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