Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sessions Should Not Become Attorney General of the United States; Make Your Voice Heard

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0,
President-elect Trump announced in November 2016 he planned to nominate Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States. More than 1,400 law school professors wrote a letter urging the Senate to reject his nomination. A group of black pastors rallied in support of Sessions in advance of his confirmation hearing, and his nomination was supported by Gerald A. Reynolds, an African-American former chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination February 1.

As expected, the vote on Sessions follows the Senate confirmation vote for Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos. DeVos. She was confirmed today.

The confirmation vote on Session’s nomination is expected tomorrow, Wednesday.

Always an opinion well worth considering, here is Robert Reich’s take on the confirmation of Jeff Sessions:

“Jeff Sessions, whose confirmation for Attorney General is soon to be taken up by the Senate, is the godfather of white Christian nationalism. Trump’s strategist Steve Bannon hails Sessions for ‘developing populist nation-state policies,’ explaining that ‘in America and Europe, working people are reasserting their right to control their own destinies,’ and blasting the ‘cosmopolitan elites in the media that live in a handful of our larger cities.’

“Two years ago in an interview with Bannon for Breitbart News, Sessions expressed concern that ‘in seven years we’ll have the highest percentage of Americans, non-native born, since the founding of the republic.’ Sessions continued: ‘Some people think we’ve always had these numbers, and it’s not so; it’s very unusual; it’s a radical change. When the numbers reached about this high in 1924, the president and Congress changed the policy, and it slowed down immigration significantly. We then assimilated through 1965 and created really the solid middle class of America, with assimilated immigrants, and it was good for America.’

“As the NAACP Legal Defense Fund reports, “an unrelenting hostility toward civil rights and racial justice has been the defining feature of Jeff Sessions’ professional life.” As a federal prosecutor, Sessions went after black activists for voting rights; as a lawmaker, he praised the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, which opened the door to laws that disproportionately disadvantage and discourage black voters. This mix of restrictive voting and restrictions on immigration is almost tailor-made to enhance the voting power of one group: white Americans.

“Sessions should not become Attorney General of the United States. Phone your members of Congress, ceaselessly. If you get a busy signal, keep phoning. Make your voice heard.”