Earlier today, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be the United States Attorney General, which oversees the Department of Justice. The senator has adamantly opposed cannabis legalization and has also decried President Barack Obama's administration, everything from its "'breathtaking' stance on immigration to its 'shameful' refusal to defend a federal ban on gay marriage."
At this point, however, it's entirely unsurprising that Trump would add this racist asshole to his list of cronies.
Washington Congressman Adam Smith, who represents the state's diverse 9th district, had this to say about Sessions today:
“With the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as the 84th Attorney General for the United States, President-elect Donald Trump has selected a documented racist to be a member of his cabinet.
“Senator Sessions has a long history of disturbing racism. In 1986, Senator Session’s racism kept him from being confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a federal judgeship under President Ronald Reagan. During the confirmation hearings, it became public that Senator Sessions had previously made statements sympathizing with the Ku Klux Klan and viewed both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as “un-American” and “trying to force civil right down the throats of people.”
“The next Attorney General will be tasked with essential role of chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government. Regardless of who the Senate confirms as Attorney General, I will continue to vocally advocate for policies that create a more just criminal justice system, and fight to dismantle structural racism at all levels of our government.”
Since 1986, Sessions has tried to clear up his racist history and has described racism as "heartbreaking" and "totally unacceptable in America," writes Amber Phillips for The Washington Post.
Sessions hasn't been mired in a controversy since about his comments on race. But critics point to his voting record and the causes he has championed in the Senate to claim that Sessions harbors racial prejudice: He is one of the Senate's most hard-line anti-immigration lawmakers, and he has opposed the Voting Rights Act.
The Southern Poverty Law Center's Heidi Beirich, who tracks hate speech, told Stanley-Becker that Sessions is guilty of it, and that his mere presence in Trump's inner circle is “a tragedy for American politics.”
DOESN'T HE SOUND GREAT?!
But Congressman Smith is not alone in denouncing Sessions. Here's what Sens. Diane Feinstein (D–Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had to say:
Sen. Feinstein—who'll be top Judiciary Dem—sends shot across the bow in stmt on Sessions: "Sometimes that means telling the president no." pic.twitter.com/tVVco5PhcE
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) November 18, 2016