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SESSIONS IS A RACIST 

Sessions Criticized All Dominican Immigrants As Unskilled And Unable To Benefit Society. In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “At a 2006 congressional hearing, Sessions said that an entire group of people wouldn’t thrive in America. ‘Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skill that would benefit us and would indicate their likely success in our society,’ he said.”  [Washington Post, 12/24/16]

Sessions Said Of The Ku Klux Klan “I Used To Respect Them, But If They Smoke Pot, I Sure Can’t.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Sessions seemed surprised that Klansmen would smoke marijuana, and Kowalski said he teased him that it was the 1980s. To which Sessions replied, as Kowalski remembers: ‘I used to respect them, but if they smoke pot, I sure can’t.’”   And, “Later, in the U.S. attorney’s office, Sessions made the same comment, but this time, two other lawyers were also present: Thomas H. Figures and Albert Glenn.  Figures, the only black prosecutor in the office, who was also working on the case, later testified before the Judiciary Committee that he was deeply offended and did not think the comment was a joke. Kowalski and Glenn, also white, testified they thought the comment was intended to be humorous.  [Washington Post, 12/24/16]

Sessions Acknowledged Calling The NAACP “Communist-Inspired” And “Un-American.”  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “Sessions acknowledged referring to the NAACP and other organizations as ‘communist inspired’ and ‘un-American organizations with anti-traditional American values,’ the New York Times reported in April 1986.”  [Bloomberg, 11/18/16]

Washington Post: “Accusations Of Racism Have Dogged Sessions’ Career.” In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Accusations of racism have dogged Sessions's career: Actually, they almost derailed it. In 1986, a Senate committee denied Sessions, then a 39-year-old U.S. attorney in Alabama, a federal judgeship. His former colleagues testified Sessions used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were ‘okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.’”  [Washington Post, 11/18/16]

Headline: “Donald Trump's Choice For US Attorney General Was Deemed Too Racist To Be Federal Judge”  [The Independent, 11/18/16]

The Independent: Sessions Never Denied Multiple Allegations Of Racism.  In November 2016 The Independent wrote, “Jeff Sessions, now a US senator, denied agreeing a lawyer was probably a 'race traitor', defending the Ku Klux Klan and refering to a black official as 'the n*****'” [The Independent, 11/18/16]

Sessions Allegedly Suggested A White Lawyer Was A “Disgrace To His Race” For Representing Black Clients.  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “The accusations came from fellow prosecutors and employees in his office. One, Gerry Hebert, then a trial attorney in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, who worked frequently with Sessions, testified that he told Sessions that a judge had called a white lawyer a ‘disgrace to his race’ because he represented black clients.  ‘Well, maybe he is,’ Sessions allegedly responded.”  [ABC News, 11/18/16]

Sessions Called A White Attorney Representing Black Clients A Race Traitor. In November 2016 The Independent wrote, “Mr Sessions’ nomination for a position as a federal judge was previously blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee after it heard allegations he: agreed a white lawyer working for black clients was probably ‘a race traitor’” [The Independent, 11/18/16]
 

SESSIONS WAS ALREADY DEEMED UNFIT FOR THE JUDICIARY

Allegations Of Racism Cost Sessions A Seat On The Federal Bench In 1986.  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “Two decades ago, Sessions, then a U.S. attorney from Mobile, Ala., appeared before the body as President Ronald Reagan’s nominee for the U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama. The contentious hearing took place over four days, and ended with Sessions unable to overcome allegations of racist remarks and behavior, credited at the time with thwarting his bid.”  And, “In the end, the committee voted 10-8 against recommending Sessions to the whole Senate for confirmation as a U.S. District Judge. Reagan withdrew his nomination in July, almost six months to the day after nominating him.”  [ABC News, 11/18/16]

Headline: “Donald Trump's Choice For US Attorney General Was Deemed Too Racist To Be Federal Judge”  [The Independent, 11/18/16]

Sessions Was Denied A Federal Judgeship By A Senate Committee In 1986 After Allegations Of Racism. In November 2016 The Independent outlined the allegations of racism against Sen. Sessions that kept him off of the federal bench in 1986:  

Mr Sessions’ nomination for a position as a federal judge was previously blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee after it heard allegations he:

  • agreed a white lawyer working for black clients was probably "a race traitor”;
  • claimed the only problem he had with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was their drug use;
  • called a black lawyer “boy” and told him to “be careful what you say to white folks”;
  • referred to a black local government official as “the n*****”;
  • and called US civil rights groups “un-American organisations teaching anti-American values” and “communist-inspired”, accusing them of trying to “force civil rights down the throats of people”.

The controversial comments allegedly made by Mr Sessions came to light during a Senate committee meeting in 1986. [The Independent, 11/18/16]

SESSIONS DEFENDED TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN

Sessions Said It Was “Appropriate To Begin To Discuss” Trump’s Muslim Ban.  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “Sessions, a former federal prosecutor, was one of the few lawmakers to defend Trump after he proposed a complete shutdown on Muslims entering the U.S. He told Stephen Bannon -- the former Breitbart News chief named as Trump’s chief White House strategist -- on a radio show in 2015 that Trump was ‘treading on dangerous ground’ but it is ‘appropriate to begin to discuss’ the issue.” [Bloomberg, 11/18/16]

Sessions Supported The Use Of Religious Tests In Immigration In A 2015 Debate.  In December 2015 CBS News reported, “In a rebuke of Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-4 Thursday on an amendment that confirms that the U.S. should not block people from the country because of their religion.”  And, “The four ‘no’ votes were Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, David Vitter, R-Louisiana and GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.”  And, “’Are we really prepared to disallow, in the consideration of tens of millions of applications for entry to the United States, any questions about religious views and attitudes?’ Sessions said.”  [CBS News, 12/10/15]

SESSIONS TARGETED CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS FOR POLITICAL PROSECUTION

Sessions Targeted Black Community Leaders For Voter Fraud Prosecutions.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “In 1985, when he was U.S. Attorney in Mobile, Sessions’ office brought indictments over allegations of voter fraud in a number of Black Belt counties, an area in Alabama named for the color of the soil but with a majority black population.  In Perry County, Sessions’ office charged three individuals with voting fraud, including Albert Turner, a long-time civil rights activist who advised Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and helped lead the voting rights March in Selma on March 7, 1965, known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ after state troopers and a local posse attacked the protestors.  Prosecutors alleged that Turner, his wife Evelyn, and activist Spencer Hogue altered ballots for a Sept. 1984 primary election.” And, “A jury of seven blacks and five whites acquitted the defendants of all charges. The presiding judge threw out more than half of the charges for lack of evidence before the jury received the case.”  [USA Today, 11/18/16]

Sessions Was Accused Of Selective Prosecution In The “Marion Three” Case.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “The Perry County case in Marion, Ala., was among several ‘Black Belt’ county voting-irregularity investigations by the federal government in 1985. The government alleged that three voter-registration activists had tampered with absentee ballots in the 1984 primary election in favor of candidates endorsed by the Perry County Civic League. They charged the defendants, dubbed the “Marion Three,” with violations of federal mail fraud statutes.”  And, “Many in the community were outraged, questioning why similar investigations weren’t being conducted in mostly white counties. There were daily demonstrations during the trial in support of the Marion Three.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]

Sessions Was Asked To Investigate Similar Allegations OfTampering With The Rights Of Black Citizens To Vote, But He Declined.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In 1982, then-District Attorney Roy L. Johnson wrote to Sessions about complaints of voting irregularities and said the most serious allegations involved interference with absentee ballots. (Johnson is now deceased.) Absentee ballots were a tool to turn out rural black voters without fear of intimidation at the polls, but legitimate questions were raised about fraud.  In 1983, a majority-black state grand jury weighed these voter fraud allegations and found serious problems — primarily with the tampering of the right of black Perry County citizens to vote — and asked the federal government to intervene.  But Sessions did not investigate.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]

Sessions Was Accused Of Attempting To Dissuade African Americans From Voting With The Fraud Prosecution.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “Robert Turner, Albert’s brother and an attorney in Marion, Ala., said in a phone interview Friday that the defendants – later known as the Marion Three – were trying to assist poor and elderly voters in casting ballots. In some cases, the defendants said they were helping illiterate voters mark their ballots, and only altered ballots when requested.  ‘There are and there were large numbers of elderly people in Perry County who need assistance,’ said Turner, who helped with his brother’s defense. ‘They couldn’t get to the polls on their own. As a matter of fact, the technical requirements of completing and mailing (the ballots) were not understood.’” And, “’I thought that the prosecution was unwarranted and had no merit,’ Robert Turner said Friday. ‘I thought it was deliberately done to dissuade black people from voting. I don’t think he did it for a just cause.’”  [USA Today, 11/18/16]
 

SESSIONS HAS MADE A CAREER OUT OF DISMANTLING VOTING RIGHTS 

Sessions Said It Was “Good News… For The South” When The Supreme Court Gutted The Voting Rights Act.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Then in 2006, as a U.S. senator, he voted to renew the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. But seven years later, he said it was ‘good news . . . for the South’ when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law, which made it more difficult for the federal government to protect people from racial discrimination in voting.”  [Washington Post, 12/24/16]

Sessions Voted For The Voting Rights Act Extension After “Efforts To Dismantle” It.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2006 agreed the Voting Rights Act should live on for another 25 years, but that lone vote does not reflect the attorney general nominee’s previous efforts to dismantle a key tool for enforcing the law in the South.”  [USA Today, 11/24/16]

USA Today: Sessions Was Part Of A Campaign To Weaken The Voting Rights Act.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “But for many years beforehand, Sessions was part of a campaign of Southern Republicans who believed the law had become an unfair, outdated burden that didn’t reflect the increased black voter registration and number of black elected officials. Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, places with a history of persistent discrimination — like Alabama — couldn’t run their elections without special oversight and approval of a watchful federal government.”  [USA Today, 11/24/16]

Sessions Declined To Investigate Allegations Of Tampering With Black Citizens’ Right To Vote.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In 1982, then-District Attorney Roy L. Johnson wrote to Sessions about complaints of voting irregularities and said the most serious allegations involved interference with absentee ballots. (Johnson is now deceased.) Absentee ballots were a tool to turn out rural black voters without fear of intimidation at the polls, but legitimate questions were raised about fraud.  In 1983, a majority-black state grand jury weighed these voter fraud allegations and found serious problems — primarily with the tampering of the right of black Perry County citizens to vote — and asked the federal government to intervene.  But Sessions did not investigate.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]

Sessions Said He Thought That Voter Suppression Problems Would Just Solve Themselves.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “’My feeling was that the problem would not continue; that the people would straighten up, clean up, after their act. And I saw no reason to prosecute after the county had not prosecuted, and we did not,’ Sessions said, adding that irregularities that year involved only a few ballots.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]


SESSIONS MAY BE UNWILLING TO DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF LGBT AMERICANS

Bloomberg: “Sessions Has Been Hostile To Gay Rights.”  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “Sessions has been hostile to gay rights, voting for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2006 and against the 2010 repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ the policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.  David Stacy, the government affairs director for Human Rights Campaign, told Metro Weekly that the prospect of Sessions as attorney general is ‘absolutely terrifying.’” [Bloomberg, 11/18/16]

Sessions Used His Position As Alabama A.G. To Try To Keep An LGBT Group Off Of A Public University Campus.  In December 2016 CNN reported, “Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick to be United States attorney general, launched a public campaign as Alabama attorney general in 1996 to prevent a gay rights group from holding a conference at the University of Alabama, according to a KFile review of contemporaneous press accounts and legal filings.”  [CNN, 12/02/16]

Sessions Said It Was Up To People Like Him To Overturn Same Sex Marriage Rights.  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “In June 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, Sessions issued a statement saying the nation’s highest court had ‘redefined a sacred and ancient institution.’  ‘It is not an act of courage but supreme arrogance to pretend that the wisdom of five judges is greater than all the men and women who have voted upon this issue in the 50 states, and the men and women whose convictions have defined the course of western civilization,’ the statement continued. Sessions said the Supreme Court’s decision was ‘part of a continuing effort to secularize’ the country ‘by force and intimidation.’ He concluded: ‘[W]hether these progressive victories are transient, or permanent, depends on us.’”  [ABC News, 11/18/16]

Sessions Attacked The Supreme Court For Their 2015 Same Sex Marriage Ruling.  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “When same-sex marriage finally became the law of the land in 2015, after the 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, Sessions did not hold back his displeasure.  ‘I think what this court did was unconstitutional. I don't think they had the power to do what they did. There's nothing in the Constitution that requires such a result, no mention of marriage in the Constitution,’ Sessions told WKRG in Mobile, Alabama, shortly after the Supreme Court decision.”  [NBC News, 11/19/16]

Sessions Opposed Hate Crimes Protections For The LGBT Community.  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “Same-sex marriage is not the only pro-LGBTQ legislation Sessions has opposed. He voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which expanded federal hate-crimes law to include bias-motivated violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”  [NBC News, 11/19/16]

Sessions Opposed Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell And Didn’t Vote For ENDA, Which Protected The LGBT Population From Workplace Discrimination.  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “He also voted against the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in 2010, and in 2013 he declined to vote in favor of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have protected LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination.”  [NBC News, 11/19/16]


SESSIONS DISCLOSURES ARE LARGELY INCOMPLETE

Sessions Omitted Answers From His Nomination Questionnaire For The Judiciary Committee.  In December 2016 National Public Radio supported, “Sessions, 69, returned his questionnaire to the committee amid little fanfare late last Friday evening. The former U.S. attorney and attorney general for the state of Alabama dutifully listed his employment record. But under a section asking for "any unsuccessful candidacies you have had for elective office or unsuccessful nominations for appointed offices," Sessions didn't mention his failed bid for a federal judge post.”  [National Public Radio, 12/13/16]

Sessions Was Accused Of Making Several Other Intentional, But Inexplicable, Omissions From His Questionnaire.  In January 2017 CNN reported, “The groups say Sessions failed to provide media interviews, speeches, op-eds and more from his time as US attorney in Alabama, the state's attorney general and from his first term as senator, from 1997 through 2002.  They said Sessions listed just 20 media interviews, 16 speeches outside the Senate, two op-eds, an academic article and a training manual, as well as just 11 clips of interviews with print publications -- including none prior to 2003.  ‘Sen. Sessions claims that records do not exist for the vast majority of press interviews he has given over the years. However, many are easily located online,’ the groups said, calling the omission ‘inexplicable.’”  [CNN, 01/01/17]

Sessions’ Omissions Are Curious, Considering That He Accused A Nominee Of Committing A Felony For The Same Thing In 2010.  During an April 2010 meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Sessions addressed what he viewed to incomplete questionnaire responses from Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu.  He said, “[32:08] To say we’ve lost confidence that Professor Liu has been serious in working to fulfill his duty to provide the committee with a complete record is an understatement.  I would just say, if you had a federal judge, or United States Magistrate, or a serious practicing attorney, when they get a questionnaire like this, they don’t play around with it, because they know it’s a serious thing.  It has their certification that they’ve complied with it completely when they sign it.  They’ve been in court; they know how matters… how these things are important.”  And he later added, “[36:44] Let me answer Senator Cornyn’s question.  As a prosecutor, Title 18, Section 1001 makes it a criminal offense to make a false statement to the government. Two years in jail. A felony.  This is a certification that these nominees make that is true and correct and is witnessed by a notary public.  A judge who finds that a nominee, or someone coming before them, left out 117, and now 130 or 40 documents would consider contempt, I think.”  [United States Committee On The Judiciary: Executive Business Meeting, 04/15/10]