Bend the Arc Opposes President-Elect Trump's Nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General; Calls for Delay of Hearings

Press Contact:

Elliot Levy

Press Contact

202-800-7409

elliot.levy@berlinrosen.com

Release Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

 

Lack of answers on questionnaire must be addressed before hearings proceed

Bend the Arc Jewish Action CEO Stosh Cotler released the following statement today opposing the appointment of Sen. Jefferson Sessions (R-AL) for United States Attorney General and calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay hearings until Sen. Sessions stops defying the committee in fully answering its questionnaire:



"President-elect Trump's selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General is unfortunate proof of his support for some of the most destructive and anti-democratic principles championed by his supporters. On a wide variety of issues under the purview of the Justice Department, including voting rights, criminal justice, LGBTQ rights and women's rights, Sen. Sessions' views are radically out of step with the views of the American people and with our nation's fundamental values. Not only are these issues some of the most important facing our country today, they are also causes for which the American Jewish community has fought for generations.

"Sen. Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act ‘intrusive' and supported restrictive voter suppression laws. As a prosecutor, he conducted an investigation of voting rights activists that was so abusive that it produced national condemnation, and was cited in the historic decision by the Senate to reject his nomination to a federal judgeship. He has also consistently opposed bipartisan proposals for criminal justice reform and has instead advocated for harsh, draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws. He even opposed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. Based on his record, Sen. Sessions is simply an unacceptable choice for United States Attorney General, a critical position that carries with it responsibility for defending the rights and liberties of all Americans.

"Today we learned that Sen. Sessions has omitted potentially hundreds of records in his reply to the Senate Judiciary Committee's questionnaire, including records of speeches he has given to controversial, far-right organizations such as the David Horowitz Freedom Center. We join with the call issued today by groups such as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for a delay in the hearings until such time as Sen. Sessions fully produces the materials that are required."

Sen. Sessions is just one of several concerning appointments named by the incoming Trump administration. Earlier this month, President-elect Trump chose former Breitbart News Executive Chair Steve Bannon, a purveyor of white nationalist rhetoric, to be his senior counselor and chief strategist. Through a joint petition with the Muslim Public Affairs Council, over 29,000 American Jews, Muslims and allies have called on Trump to rescind his selection of Bannon.

Bend the Arc Jewish Action has been a leader in the Jewish community's work to combat the extremism and bigotry seen in this year's presidential race. Following the election, Bend the Arc Jewish Action published an open letter from American Jews expressing solidarity with the targets of Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric, including immigrants, Muslims, people of color, LGBT people, women and people with disabilities. From mobilizing a massive ‘Let My People GOTV' initiative that mobilized Jewish activists nationwide to personally knock on the doors of over 20,000 voters for Hillary Clinton, to its anti-Trump ‘Book of Life' Day of Action in the spirit of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and their release of a viral video message from the older generation to today's young voters, Bend the Arc Jewish Action was actively engaged in rejecting Trump's campaign of fear and hate.

For more information about Bend the Arc Jewish Action's work to oppose Trump, visit www.weveseenthisbefore.org, or contact Mike Webb at mike.webb@berlinrosen.com or 202-800-7946.

 

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