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Senate Democrats: Block Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general

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"Block and resist Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general.”

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    Senate Democrats: Block Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general

    Donald Trump just announced his first cabinet appointment and it confirms the racism at the heart of his toxic candidacy.

    Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ record on race was so problematic that in 1986, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected his nomination to be a federal judge.1

    The attorney general is the country’s chief law enforcement officer, responsible for the enforcement of our civil rights laws. But Sen. Sessions’ history of anti-Black racism isn’t the only disqualifying part of his record. He is also a climate change denier who has a history of anti-immigrant extremism.2,3 His legislative record is appalling as well: Sen. Sessions has voted against immigration reform, voting rights and LGBTQ equality and has worked to ban abortion, defund Planned Parenthood and advocated for big banks and big corporations.4

    There’s no way Sen. Sessions should be attorney general, but the only way to block his nomination is if Senate Democrats push back with every tool at their disposal. Can you help make sure they act?

    Tell Senate Democrats: Block and resist Jeff Sessions' confirmation as attorney general.

    For those of us outside Washington, it could not be more clear that Sen. Sessions is completely unqualified to be attorney general, and Senate Democrats must do everything they can to block his nomination. But, Sen. Sessions is a sitting senator, and some Democrats already seem to be giving him a collegial benefit of the doubt. Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s statement on the nomination noted Sen. Sessions is his workout partner.5 And already, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has indicated he supports Sen. Sessions. Other senators have failed to call out Sessions’ appalling record and simply said he deserves a fair hearing and vote.

    While some Senate Democrats are apparently considering a path of deference and accommodation to maintain the traditions of the Senate, it’s important to remember that Senate Republicans have spent almost a year blocking President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. They’ve been willing to trash the decorum and customs of the Senate, ignore their constitutional duties and undermine the legitimacy of our country’s first Black president for naked partisan political gain.

    There is no reason to give a hate-group candidate who did not win the popular vote a free pass to appoint bigots and hatemongers to leading positions in government.

    Tell Senate Democrats: Block and resist Jeff Sessions' confirmation as attorney general.

    If Senate Democrats find their backbones and stand their ground, they could block the appointment of someone to be the enforcer of our country’s laws who actively fights against our Constitution’s promise of equality for all. If they fail to do so, they are showing Trump he can get away with anything and giving a pass to someone who:

    • said the KKK was “okay, until [he] found out they smoked pot;”
    • has suggested freedom of religion might not apply to immigrants, and it might be time to consider Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims;
    • is so anti-immigrant he has even challenged birthright citizenship;
    • has called the NAACP and the ACLU “un-American;”
    • once called a white civil rights attorney a “disgrace to his race,” and repeatedly called a Black lawyer “boy;"
    • characterized the Voting Rights Act as "a piece of intrusive legislation” and has refused to support legislation to restore it after it was gutted by the Supreme Court;
    • stood up for the banking industry when the banks were melting down in 2008;
    • pressured Attorney General Janet Reno not to pursue anti-trust charges against Microsoft in the 1990s;
    • and defended Donald Trump’s recorded bragging about grabbing women by their genitals by saying, “I don't characterize that as sexual assault."6,7,8

    Trump’s campaign rhetoric was a threat to people of color, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people and women across the country. His first staffing decisions – white supremacist media executive Steve Bannon, anti-Muslim retired General Mike Flynn and Sen. Jeff Sessions – show that he wants to build an administration that will use the power of the federal government to deliver on those threats.

    Democrats must stand with the communities threatened by Trump and resist and oppose him with everything they’ve got.

    That starts with standing united against Sen. Sessions.

    Thanks for everything you do.

    References:

    1. "Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: An Insult to Justice," The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2016.
    2. Miranda Blue, "12 Reasons Jeff Sessions Should Never Be Attorney General," Right Wing Watch, Nov. 18, 2016
    3. Pema Levy, "Sessions' Anti-Immigration Influence Will Go Far Beyond His Role as Attorney General," Mother Jones, Nov. 18, 2016.
    4. Miranda Blue, "12 Reasons Jeff Sessions Should Never Be Attorney General," Right Wing Watch, Nov. 18, 2016.
    5. Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "Lawmakers Move to Grant Banks Immunity Against Patent Lawsuit," The Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2016.
    6. Miranda Blue, "12 Reasons Jeff Sessions Should Never Be Attorney General," Right Wing Watch, Nov. 18, 2016
    7. Robert A. Levy, "Beyond the Browser Wars: Antitrust as Vendetta", Cato institute, Aug. 17, 2016
    8. Sean Sullivan, "Trump supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions reportedly said behavior Trump described in 2005 video is not sexual assault," The Washington Post, Oct. 10, 2016.