NBJC Vehemently Opposes Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination for U.S. Attorney General
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, vehemently opposes President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from Alabama to be the next United States Attorney General. The Department of Justice and the important position of Attorney General are essential to the enforcement of our nation’s most critical laws, while also possessing the incredible responsibility to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, including people of color and LGBTQ people. Because of his longstanding career in public service as a U.S. Attorney and Senator, where he has demonstrated an unwillingness to protect the rights of minorities and consistently made alarming statements that contradict our nation’s bedrock principles of liberty and equality, NBJC wholeheartedly opposes the nomination of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.
“After living through the administration of one of the most pro-civil rights Justice Departments in our nation’s history, we are now witnessing a total reversal of the progress we have made with the nomination of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “Not only has this nominee been on record as calling many in the civil rights community ‘un-American,’ but he has personally used his power as a U.S. Senator to block voting rights, women’s rights, protections for LGBTQ Americans, and reforms to end the era of mass incarceration in our nation…to name a few. He is truly unfit to be the next United States Attorney General, and the National Black Justice Coalition and our supporters will do all we can to ensure that he is not confirmed by the U.S. Senate for this vital post in our federal government.”
The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement official for the federal government and leads all functions of the U.S. Department of Justice. As such, this position requires an individual with the capacity to respect fundamental rights and constitutional values regardless of their own personal or political views, or those within the Executive Branch—including the President. Senator Sessions’ public record includes vast examples of where he was incapable of demonstrating these core abilities. From his personal statement denying that racial discrimination in voting exists in the South to his current support of the First Amendment Defense Act, which would grant discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity on the grounds of religion, Jeff Sessions would be both a flawed and dangerous Attorney General with the responsibility to preserve the bedrock principle of “justice for all” in our nation.
Lettman-Hicks added, “Our movement for justice has been invigorated over the years by the contributions of so many young people demanding that the most marginalized in our society are protected and empowered. I hate to think what our future Justice Department would do with an Attorney General Sessions instructed to ensure that these same young people continue to have the ability to exercise their First Amendment rights to hold those in authority accountable. This uncertain and parlous future is what we can expect to face if the Senate confirms this nominee.”