We Will Fight Jeff Sessions Every Step of the Way

Jeff Sessions — a racist, misogynist, homophobe and Islamophobe — is now our nation’s top law enforcement officer.

As attorney general, Sessions is supposed to protect these communities from discrimination. Under Obama, the Justice Department investigated civil rights abuses; under Sessions, it looks certain that it will go in the opposite direction.

Sessions was one of Trump’s first supporters in the Senate. He reportedly was involved in writing Trump’s executive order banning Muslims from entering the United States. The DoJ is already fighting a federal judge’s orders to temporarily block the ban.

Free Press is one of hundreds of groups that tried to stop Sessions’ confirmation. We join millions of people all over the country who fear what Sessions could do as attorney general. But we’re not giving up and neither should you.

Many members of Congress fought to stop Sessions from being confirmed. Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis gave eloquent testimony during the confirmation hearing. On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was on the Senate floor attempting to read a powerful letter from Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions when he was up for a federal judgeship. Then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell silenced Warren. His rebuke — in which he essentially told her to shut up — prompted a national outcry. Meanwhile, members of the Congressional Black Caucus marched to the Senate floor on Wednesday and condemned Sessions’ racism.

We will monitor Sessions closely during his term and speak out whenever he violates civil rights.

For now, let’s consider Coretta Scott King’s words from 1986. At the time Sessions was a U.S. attorney in Alabama, one who routinely violated the voting rights of African Americans:

Civil rights leaders, including my husband and Albert Turner, have fought long and hard to achieve free and unfettered access to the ballot box. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. ... Mr. Sessions’ conduct as U.S. Attorney, from his politically motivated voting fraud prosecutions to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicates that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge. … The irony of Mr. Sessions’ nomination is that, if confirmed, he will be given life tenure for doing with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished twenty years ago with clubs and cattle prods.

These words are a rallying cry. And we will keep fighting.

Original photo by Gage Skidmore

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