Press Release

NAACP Statement on Appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

November 18, 2016

BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as potential Attorney General by President-elect Donald J. Trump:

“The nomination of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be Attorney General, to serve as chief law enforcement officer of the United States, is deeply troubling. Based on the disdain for our nation’s civil rights laws that Senator Sessions has consistently demonstrated throughout his career, his fitness to be the chief protector and enforcer of them falls into dire question.

“Senator Sessions was denied appointment as a federal judge in 1986 for a slew of racist comments, including calling the work of the NAACP and ACLU ‘Un-American.’ He has also repeatedly spoken out against the federal Voting Rights Act. We just lived through the first presidential election in over 50 years without the Act’s full protections and witnessed the suppression of millions of votes. To appoint an Attorney General who dismisses the need for these critical protections is even more despicable and unacceptable.

“Senator Sessions’ record suggests that he will carry on an old, ugly legacy in this country’s history when civil rights for African-Americans, women and minorities were not regarded as core American values. While Lady Justice may be said to be blind, we need an Attorney General with 20-20 vision in seeing racial injustice. Whether Senator Sessions, with decades of failing grades on the NAACP’s report card, possesses a racial vision and commitment to justice is in serious question.

“We need to move forward, not backward. Our nation needs federal action to protect basic voting rights, to reform outrageous abuses and racial profiling by police departments in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and across the country, and to protect rights for LGBT Americans and other vulnerable populations in an era of rising hate and in the face of an administration threatening to wage war on basic civil liberties.

“Through Congress, our membership and by every means available, the NAACP will continue to stand against the regressive and intolerant views that Senator Sessions espouses.”

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.