With the Attorney General confirmation hearings of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions set for next week, civil rights leaders have banded together to not only decry his nomination, but condemn his apparent rushed hearing.
Sessions, a controversial pick for the position by President-Elect Donald Trump, will have his two-day hearing Tuesday, CNN reports. He is expected to be confirmed in the GOP-controlled chamber.
Leaders from groups like the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and The Leadership Conference have called for a delay of the hearing and also asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Sessions’ nomination.
“There is only one real question before the Committee, the Senate, and the American people: Does the nearly 40 year record of Sen. Sessions in public life demonstrate that he is fit and prepared to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, and particularly the chief enforcer of our nation’s civil rights laws?” said Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.’s President and Director-Counsel.
“No matter how the hearing process is rigged, the rules are bent, or history is rewritten by Sen. Sessions’ supporters, his long and voluminous record demonstrates that the answer to that question is no.”
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Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship in the '80s was then rejected by a Republican-controlled Senate after he acknowledged having made racially insensitive remarks, including called the NAACP “unamerican,” NPR reports.
Other leaders who have condemned the proceedings are from groups like the National Action Network, the NCAPA, NCLR and MALDEF, claiming Sessions; initial questionnaire had numerous omissions, and he has misrepresented his civil rights record.
“Senator Sessions’ record on civil and human rights, which he failed to fully divulge to the committee in his questionnaire, makes him simply unfit to serve in this critical position,” said Wade Henderson, President of The Leadership Conference.
“The Senate must delay his confirmation hearing to make ample time for the thorough vetting of Senator Sessions’ long record of public service that the American people deserve.”
We can also expect these groups to continue their protests against Sessions’ nomination. Earlier this week, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks was arrested after a group sit-in protest in Sessions' Mobile, Alabama, office, calling the action "not a one-off."