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Democrats prepare for bitter confirmation fight against Sen. Sessions

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

WASHINGTON—Tuesday, January 3, 2017, a number of protestors from the NAACP held a sit in in US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) Mobile offices.

Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) reported that the protestors were demanding that Sessions withdraw from consideration for US Senate. The NAACP occupiers were finally arrested in Sessions’ office after refusing a request by the property owner that they leave.

State Representative Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) commented on the matter, stating, “In Mobile, Alabama, there is a sit in at Senator Sessions office. They have a right to conduct a sit down outside but not inside which results in disrupted government operations. Would the media let these sit ins by Trump supporters be allowed without negative press. I don’t think so. I firmly believe that America was at a cross roads on the direction of our country on November 8 when President Trump won the election. I believe our country is moving in a positive direction with or without the non supporters.”

The opposition against Sessions stems from charges of racism, which was used to defeat his confirmation to the judiciary in the 1980s. NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks said in a statement,

“As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming Attorney General of the United States,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks. “Senator Sessions has callously ignored the reality of voter suppression but zealously prosecuted innocent civil rights leaders on trumped up charges of voter fraud. As an opponent of the vote, he can’t be trusted to be the chief law- enforcement officer for voting rights.”

Alabama State NAACP Conference President Bernard Simelton said, “Despite 30 years of our nation moving forward on inclusion and against hate, Jeff Sessions has failed to change his ways. He’s been a threat to desegregation and the Voting Rights Act and remains a threat to all of our civil rights, including the right to live without the fear of police brutality.”

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Simelton led the sit in in Sessions office.

The Alabama New South Coalition also opposes Sessions’ nomination, stating, “During his short service as Alabama State Attorney General, Session actively sought to overturn a landmark state trial court ruling that had promised reform of the State’s inequitable and inadequate public schools.”

The group also condemned Sessions for recommending Bill Pryor to replace him as Attorney General, voting against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, describing the Voting Rights Act as a “piece of intrusive legislation,” voting against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and many other actions.

“We urge everyone who believes Jeff Sessions should not be confirmed to be Attorney General of the United States communicate your views and concerns to Congress, the press, and your fellow citizens, as we are doing,” the statement read.

The President of Americans United for Change, Brad Woodhouse, said, “It’s no mystery why Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wants to fast track Sessions’ nomination process and hold hearings in the middle of the holiday season before Trump is even sworn in as President. Republicans are trying to minimize public scrutiny of Session’s record. But all it takes it one glimpse at the record to know Senator Jeff Sessions’ problem with minorities and women would be a serious problem for American justice and civil rights should he take charge of the U.S. Justice Department.”

The appointments of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) as head of the EPA and Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State are expected to be the most contentious appointees.

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has said, “It is not our job to be a rubber stamp.”

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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