Equal Justice for All Americans Endangered by Confirmation of Sessions as Attorney General

Statement by Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

The principle of equal justice under the law is now undermined by the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. It is deeply troubling that the people’s lawyer is now a person who has such a long history of fighting against the civil rights and voting rights of so many Americans whose skin color or sexual orientation are different than his own. This is 2017, and we need leaders in government who are committed to all people in our country.

The Senators voting to confirm Sessions at best turned a blind eye to the troubling record of their fellow Senator and at worst they attempted to whitewash that record. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went so far as to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor when she attempted to read into the record a letter from Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow emphatically urging the Senate in 1986 to reject the nomination of Sessions for a federal judgeship. In 1986 the Republican-controlled Senate had the mettle to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions, but sadly today that courage was missing.

The actions of the Justice Department under Sessions’ leadership will require careful monitoring based on his extensive record dating back decades but continuing right up to the present moment through his role in helping drive the policy priorities of the Trump White House. At Common Cause, we will be keeping a close eye on the Justice Department to hold it accountable to the American people it is intended to serve.