Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other black leaders have been vocal in their opposition to the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to serve as Attorney General of the United States under the Trump administration. Some of them testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today in the second day of testimony.
The president of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA said): “To have a senator, a House member, and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus."
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said:
“It doesn’t matter how Senator Sessions may smile, how friendly he may be, how he may speak to you.” He added, “We need someone who is going to stand up, to speak up, and speak out for the people that need help.” He tweeted after the hearing, “We need someone as Attorney General who is going to look out for all of us, not just some of us.”
Lewis also said:
“Those who are committed to equal justice in our society wonder whether Senator Sessions’ calls for law and order will mean today what it meant it Alabama when I was coming up back then. The rule of law was used to violate the human and civil rights of the poor, the dispossessed, people of color.”
We need someone as Attorney General who is going to look out for all of us, not just some of us. https://t.co/7rdUAFrobA— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) January 11, 2017
Democrats went relatively easy on Jeff Sessions. Then John Lewis got up to speak. pic.twitter.com/evZcaClHbJ— Vox (@voxdotcom) January 11, 2017
Sen. Cory Brooks (D-NJ) is the first senator in history to testify against the nomination of a fellow senator to a Cabinet post. Brooks said today:
“The next attorney general must bring hope and healing to this country, and this demands a more courageous empathy than Senator Sessions' record demonstrates." "If one is to be attorney general, they must be willing to continue the hallowed tradition in our country of fighting for justice for all, for equal justice, for civil rights," he added.
"Senator Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requirement of the job — to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all."
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said last week of Sessions:
"We live in a time where states are passing laws requiring special identification before a citizen can cast his or her vote. We live in a time when a police officer can break protocol — shoot a person of color without cause. And we live in a time when states can pass laws making discrimination legal.” Carson added, “But instead of calling for investigations and even justice, Jeff Sessions stands by and makes disparaging remarks against people of color who raise their voices in protest.
NAACP President Cornel Brooks said:
“Based on his record and his statements, the NAACP strongly believes that confirmation of Senator Sessions as attorney general would be bad for America and could exacerbate already deepening racial divisions in this country.”