Donald Trump has chosen Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as his pick for U.S. Attorney General, despite (or perhaps because of?) Sessions’ racist past, the NYT reports:
While serving as a United States prosecutor in Alabama, Mr. Sessions was nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan for a federal judgeship. But his nomination was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee because of racially charged comments and actions. At that time, he was one of two judicial nominees whose selections were halted by the panel in nearly 50 years.
In testimony before the committee, former colleagues said that Mr. Sessions had referred to the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” An African-American federal prosecutor then, Thomas H. Figures, said Mr. Sessions had referred to him as “boy” and testified that Mr. Sessions said the Ku Klux Klan was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” Mr. Sessions dismissed that remark as a joke.
Sessions has been a vocal opponent of marriage equality. He also grilled then Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on her opposition to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during her senate confirmation hearings and said he would do crack cocaine at Sonia Sotomayor’s hearings. He also opposed the Matthew Shepard hate crimes act.
Jeff Sessions is the anti-Holder. Voting rights and civil rights in particular will be imperiled by an indifferent or hostile DOJ.
— Andrew Cohen (@JustADCohen) November 18, 2016