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Senate Disserves Nation by Confirming Sessions As U.S. Attorney General

February 8, 2017

Washington, DC – On news this evening that Jefferson B. Sessions has been confirmed as the next U.S. Attorney General, CAC President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:
 
“Jeff Sessions was unfit to be Attorney General when President Trump nominated him, and he is just as unfit today. It is deeply unfortunate that a majority of Senators chose to ignore their colleague’s long and troubling record of working against the rights of African Americans, women and the LGBTQ community. It is, frankly, offensive, that the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its direct examination of Sessions in a single day of in-person testimony, while failing to require Sessions to account for recent bizarre behavior by the Office of Legal Counsel – which, as Attorney General, he will oversee – as well as his own role in creating President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Sessions’s legal career has revealed a tendency to rubber-stamp the wishes of a Republican chief executive, yet shows virtually no commitment to key constitutional principles or the required respect for our Constitution’s core values of liberty and equality for all in America. As we stated in our letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The Constitution must be the Attorney General’s guide as he advises the President and enforces federal law, and he must read and apply it in whole to ensure its promises reach everyone in America, regardless of income, complexion, gender, or status. It is the responsibility of the Department of Justice to ensure that the Constitution’s guarantees are upheld and enjoyed equally by all persons. Sessions’s positions on a range of issues—positions that have been consistent over decades—make clear that he is not qualified to lead the Department in fulfilling those responsibilities. 

“The Senate disserved our Nation today in its confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The task for us now is to work even harder to hold Sessions accountable to the strictest standards of fairness, as well as independence from the President who nominated him, while we hold Trump and everyone in his Administration accountable to the Constitution.”
 
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Resources:

Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Senator Jefferson B. Sessions to be Attorney General the United States, CAC President Elizabeth Wydra, January 6, 2017: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/CAC-Letter-on-Sessions-for-AG.pdf

“Bad Law: A look at the terrible things Jeff Sessions did as attorney general of Alabama,” By Elizabeth Wydra, Slate, January 9, 2017: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/the_terrible_things_jeff_sessions_did_as_attorney_general_of_alabama.html

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.

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