US Senator Jeff Sessions’ record is bad on women’s rights, civil rights and human rights, but President-elect Donald Trump has nominated him to be the next Attorney General of the United States.
20 JANUARY UPDATE: Nothing that Senator Sessions said during his confirmation hearings last week can dispel his terrible record on women and human rights. Please join Equality Now and continue to take action against his confirmation. As Attorney General, he will be in a particularly important role enforcing the rights of those whose only recourse is the law. His mandate will also include oversight of millions of dollars that ensure access to justice is a reality. These funds are already under fire, as recommendations to eliminate grants to end violence against women and denial of civil legal services gain traction. We cannot expect someone with such a poor record on women’s rights to see that these efforts are crucial for survivors of violence to achieve justice. Please continue to voice your opposition to Senator Session’s nomination as Attorney General.
Next week, the US Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings for the nation’s next Attorney General (currently set for Jan 10-11).
As the nation’s top law enforcement agent, it is the US Attorney General’s responsibility to uphold the Constitution and defend civil liberties. S/he advises the President and manages thousands of Federal prosecutors - setting prosecution priorities for the Department of Justice and enforcing some of the most critical laws protecting the civil and human rights of all Americans. The Attorney General can play a leading role in ensuring that justice reaches all communities and has often been at the forefront of social change when states where not ready to promote equality under the law. The Department of Justice also oversees a number of departments, including the Office on Violence against Women and the Office for Victims of Crime. These departments administer millions in funding, and authorize research and train state and local law enforcement and service providers nationally.
-from Oct 2016 Weekly Standard interview
If confirmed, Sessions would lead the Department of Justice and be the country’s highest-ranking law enforcement agent – a truly frightening thought. Even a cursory look at Session’s voting record shows that he has been an adversary of women’s legal rights on issues ranging from women’s access to reproductive health (earning him a 0% rating from both NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood), protections for LGBTQ people against discrimination (voting yes on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage) and the rights of sexual assault survivors (voting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act). Sessions also voted against the groundbreaking Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and has time and again voted against raising the minimum wage, a change that would by and large benefit women. By his own admission, he doesn’t even know that grabbing a woman’s genitals is sexual assault.
President-elect Trump has nominated a man whose actions reflect misogyny, bigotry and racism. Many reputable organizations have written about his problematic history on women’s rights, civil rights and affiliation with news media outlets that perpetuate, among other things, anti-women’s rights opinions. All of this is why we need to take immediate action.
Time is of the essence - Help us protect women’s legal rights!
Your voice is powerful, please use it. Senator Sessions’ attacks on women’s legal rights, as well as his history of hostility against civil rights, makes him unsuitable to be our next Attorney General. His position of power as Attorney General would jeopardize the strides we have made and would harm women throughout our country, especially poor women and women of color.
If you live in the United States, please call (877) 959-6082 today, input your zip code and you’ll be connected to your Senator’s office. If you live in the same state as any of the Committee members, your voice will have even more impact.
Please also call on Senate Judiciary Committee members (see list below) to express your concern with his nomination based on his voting record and to ensure that, if the Committee continues with his nomination hearing, it takes a comprehensive and critical look at Sessions’ votes on women and girls’ and civil rights.
Senator Jeff Sessions has time and again acted in hostility toward the rights of women, sexual assault victims, LGBTQ individuals and people of color. I believe Senator Jeff Sessions is unsuitable for the position of Attorney General and urge you to take a comprehensive and critical look at his voting record during his nomination hearing.
.@SenatorSessions is unfit to serve as US Attorney General. Make sure your senators know where you stand (877-959-6082). #StopSessions
The Attorney General wields great power. S/he can have a tremendous impact on the lives and rights of women and girls across the country. This is an important nomination hearing and we need to work together to make sure that Senator Jeff Sessions’ fitness for Attorney General is measured on the basis of his past actions and, therefore, found unsuitable to hold that position.
US Senate Judiciary Committee members
Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) [@ChuckGrassley, (202) 224-3744]
Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [@SenatorLeahy, (202) 224-4242]
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) [@SenBlumenthal, (202) 224-2823]
Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-DE) [@ChrisCoons, (202) 224-5042]
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) [@JohnCornyn, (202) 224-2934]
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) [@TedCruz, (202) 224-5922]
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) [@SenatorDurbin, (202) 224-2152]
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) [@SenFeinstein, (202) 224-3841; CA offices contact info]
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) [@JeffFlake, (202) 224-4521]
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) [@AlFranken, (202) 224-5641]
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [@LindseyGrahamSC, (202) 224-5972]
Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) [@OrrinHatch, (202) 224-5251]
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) [@AmyKlobuchar, (202)224-3244]
Senator Michael S. Lee (R-UT) [@SenMikeLee, (202) 224-5444]
Senator David Perdue (R-GA) [@SenDavidPerdue, (202) 224-3521]
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) [@SenSchumer, (202) 224-6542]
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) [@SenThomTillis, (202) 224-6342]
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) [@DavidVitter, (202) 224-4623]
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) [@SenWhitehouse, (202) 224-2921]