Over 1,000 law professors have signed on to a stunning public letter urging Senators to oppose President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General, Alabama’s U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions.
The letter will, according to a report in The Washington Post, soon be run as a full page newspaper ad directed specifically to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is set to officially confirm Sessions on January 10 through 11.
These professors, hailing from Harvard Law School, the University of Chicago Law School, Stanford Law School, University of California, and the Irvine School of Law, among other schools, cite in their letter what has by now become common knowledge — the most disturbing parts of the Senator and Attorney General pick’s background.
Sessions, more than thirty years ago, was denied a federal judgeship based on the revelation that he had made comments painting the NAACP — and the ACLU — as “Communist” and “anti-American.” He also at the time was revealed to have said that he was “okay” with the Ku Klux Klan — until he learned that some of its members smoked marijuana.
Sure, Sessions unsurprisingly denied the accusations, but they were evidently well enough founded to prompt him to be denied the judgeship.
In addition, sure, this happened some thirty years ago — but Sessions is still the same guy.
The New York Daily News writes that Sessions, in his recent years in the Senate, “has opposed Obamacare, marijuana legalization, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and all three of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees.”
And on that note, an excerpt from the one thousand signer strong letter reads:
‘Nothing in Senator Sessions’ public life since 1986 has convinced us that he is a different man than the 39-year-old attorney who was deemed too racially insensitive to be a federal district court judge.’
Other points that the professors take up with Sessions’s record include, according to The Washington Post:
‘Sessions’s prosecution of three civil rights activists for voter fraud in Alabama in 1985, his support for building a wall along the nation’s southern border and his repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community.’
The professors who signed the letter include figures who come from 48 of the nation’s 50 states, excluding only North Dakota and Alaska — which apparently doesn’t even have a law school.
Notably, serious protests have just recently emerged against Sessions from another front as well, with the NAACP staging a sit-in protest at the Senator’s Mobile office on Tuesday afternoon, proclaiming that they wouldn’t leave until Sessions was withdrawn as Attorney General pick — or until they were in handcuffs.
Late Tuesday evening, the protesters were, indeed, reportedly removed from the Senator’s office in handcuffs.
The prospects for the professors’ efforts to be successful in helping stop Sessions are, honestly, grim. Democratic Senators have lodged complaints against Sessions, but, ultimately, the GOP is in control of the Senate and thus of all confirmation hearings to be held for Trump’s Cabinet appointments.
The response issued from Sessions’s office on the occasion of the protests lodged against his candidacy from the NAACP is definitely ironic, reading that the Senator has “inspired confidence” in groups including the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association — not exactly groups that are representative of both sides of the issue of civil rights, to put it lightly.
Featured Image via Mark Wilson/ Getty Images.