On Tuesday, former U.S. attorney and attorney general of Alabama, Sen. Jeff Sessions, will stand before colleagues in the Senate for his confirmation as attorney general under the incoming Donald Trump administration.
While Sessions clearly holds the qualifications for the position, his selection for the role has polarized officials in each political aisle.
Right-leaning hawks favor Sessions due to his tough and uncompromising stance on immigration, while liberals and left-leaning groups are fearful Sessions is a “violator” of civil and voting rights. It’s likely that during the hearing Democrats will challenge Sessions on topics such as his plans for stopping illegal immigrant crimes, enabling deportations, and his stance on constructing Trump’s proposed border wall.
There’s also the factor of Sessions’ controversial 1986 hearing. During that year, Sessions reportedly called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union “un-American, communist-inspired organizations,” and apparently said that a white civil rights lawyer was “a disgrace to his race” for representing black plaintiffs.
Sessions has denied ever making those comments for the past thirty years of his career and his spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, said opponents bringing up the old issue are simply attempting to create a “smear campaign” against Sessions.
“Senator Sessions’ four-decade career in public service includes bipartisan victories on criminal justice issues … and bipartisan endorsements that include law enforcement, victims rights organizations, and African American leaders,” Flores said. “As Attorney General, he will refocus the Department of Justice on upholding the rule of law and ensuring public safety.”
Still, protests are definitely expected beforehand on Sessions’ confirmation hearing. The NAACP, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights have all called Sessions an “unfit nominee” and have reportedly made plans to protest outside of Sessions’ hearing.
H/T: The Hill
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