CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON STATEMENT OPPOSING NOMINATION OF SEN. JEFF SESSIONS OF ALABAMA TO BE U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Glenn Rushing
November 18, 2016 202-225-3816
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Statement Opposing Nomination
of Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be U.S. Attorney General
Jackson Lee: “The duty of the U.S. Attorney General is to lead the Department of Justice in protecting and expanding the civil rights of all Americans and the pursuit of equal justice for all, not to turn back the clock on hard won rights and liberties.”
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security Committee and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, released the following statement today in response to the President-Elect’s announced intention to nominate U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next Attorney General of the United States:
“On Election Night the President-Elect pledged to the nation that he would be a president to all Americans. That pledge will ring hollow to tens of millions of Americans in light of his announced intention to nominate one of the U.S. Senate’s most far-right members, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next Attorney General of the United States.
“Perhaps nothing would do more to reassure the American people that the President-Elect is committed to unifying the nation than the nomination and appointment of a person to be Attorney General who has a record of championing and protecting, rather than opposing and undermining, the precious right to vote; the constitutionally guaranteed right of privacy, criminal justice reform, and support for reform of the nation’s immigration system so that it is fair and humane.
“The nomination of Senator Sessions as Attorney General does not inspire the necessary confidence. As Senator from Alabama, the state from which the infamous Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder originated, Senator Sessions has failed to play a constructive role in repairing the damage to voting rights caused by that decision. He was one of the leading opponents of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He is one of the Senate’s most hostile opponents of comprehensive immigration reform and was a principal architect of the draconian and incendiary immigration policy advocated by the President-Elect during the campaign. And his record in support of efforts to bring needed reform to the nation’s criminal justice system is virtually non-existent.
“In 1986, ten years before Senator Sessions was elected to the Senate, he was rejected for a U.S. District Court judgeship in view of documented incidents that revealed his lack of commitment to civil and voting rights, and to equal justice. And his Senate voting record and rhetoric has endeared him to white nationalist websites and organizations like Breitbart and Stormfront.
“Should the President-Elect proceed with the nomination of Senator Sessions to be Attorney General, I call upon the Senate Judiciary Committee to subject the nomination to the most comprehensive, searching, and withering examination.
“The United States has been blessed to have been served as Attorney General by such illustrious figures as Robert Jackson, Robert Kennedy, Herbert Brownell, Ramsey Clark, Nicholas Katzenbach, Eric Holder, and Edward H. Levi.
“No senator should vote to confirm the nomination of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General if there is the slightest doubt that he possesses the character, qualities, integrity, and commitment to justice and equality needed to lead a department, the headquarters building of which is named for Robert F. Kennedy, one of the nation’s greatest and most indefatigable champions of civil rights and equal justice for all.”
Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.