Just one day before the confirmation hearing begins for one of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for attorney general, a damning report emerged painting the man as a lifelong racist and bigot.
According to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund’s report, released Jan. 9, Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ “voluminous record” of racial discrimination should disqualify him from holding the attorney general office.
“That record, particularly given his public life in a state with a long and troubled history of racial discrimination, should reveal a clear commitment to the principles of racial equality and justice and support for the civil rights laws which, as Attorney General, he would be charged with upholding,” reads part of the 32-page report.
“Rather than demonstrate his fitness to become the chief enforcer of our nation’s civil rights laws, Sessions’ record reveals precisely the opposite.”
The report analyzes three major areas of Sessions’ 44-year professional legal career including Civil Rights and Racial Justice; Criminal Justice and Policing; and Education.
The first section – Civil Rights and Racial Justice – appears to be one of the most detailed, with subsections digging into two specific events that Sessions oversaw as a federal prosecutor.
The “Perry County and ‘Black Belt’ Voting Prosecutions,” deal with the case of three voting rights activists from Marion in Perry County, Alabama known as “The Marion Three.” The NAACP holds they were falsely indicted by Sessions on the “specious theory” that lending assistance to elderly voters, or filling out absentee ballots on voters’ behalf, was a crime.
“Now, as then, Sessions’ decision to pursue that prosecution – to use federal law and the resources of the federal government to prevent African Americans from voting – disqualifies him from Senate confirmation,” the report reads.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin two days of hearings on Sessions' nomination Tuesday. The report hopes to shed a light on the proceedings and throw a wrench into Sessions’ plans.
“At every stage of his career, including through the most recent presidential campaign, Sessions has repeatedly and often vociferously opposed civil rights laws, organizations, and principles,” the report concludes.
“His substantive positions on a number of issues, along with his lack of candor and independence, are fundamentally disqualifying. The Senate Judiciary Committee should carefully vet and question Sessions about his lengthy record and be aware of what they are voting for and the inevitable consequences for the Department and the enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws.”
A number of Trump's Cabinet appointees – wealthy industry insiders and politicians with spotty records – are also being scrutinized during various confirmation hearings for potential conflict of interest issues.