Dear Mr. VP,
Today you probably won’t be called upon to break a tie, because no single GOP Senator has said they will vote against Jeff Sessions. And last night, when Elizabeth Warren delivered a hell-raiser of a speech against him, she was told she was breaking Senate rules by “impugning” a colleague. Mitch McConnell told her that by quoting Coretta Scott King — who wrote a letter to testify against him when he was nominated for a federal judgeship in 1986 — Warren was breaking that rule. As an aside – if Senators can be removed from the floor for criticizing a colleague, then how in the world are they supposed to actually debate a colleague’s nomination for a Cabinet position? Legit question. Anyway. Ever dignified, Warren said “Mr. President, I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate. I ask leave of the Senate to continue my remarks.” And two men told her to sit the eff down. Unsurprisingly, two white guys don’t want anyone to call a fellow white guy a racist. Even though he is:
Sessions said he was joking. For context, he said this while he was investigating the hanging and murder of a young Black man. Not the sort of time I’d consider making a Klan joke, personally, but we all have different senses of humor.
What does the Attorney General of the United States do? S/he is the top law enforcement officer and lawyer for the government. Do you want a virulent racist as the chief lawyer for the government? I don’t (but you do — because if no one in the AG’s office is going to defend voting rights, that’ll just continue the Republican history of supporting voter suppression.)
And yes. Jefferson Sessions is a racist:
- He previously testified that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a “piece of intrusive legislation.” That’s the law that aimed to put an end to legal loopholes preventing African-Americans from exercising their right to vote.
- Sessions referred to an African-American attorney in Alabama (his home state) as “boy” and told him to “be careful what you say to white folks.”
- Sessions called the NAACP “un-American” and said it was trying to “trying to force civil rights down the throats of people who were trying to put problems behind them.”
I don’t think you’re going to change your mind about him, but I’m still taking the time to express my displeasure. Great displeasure. Disgust, even. White supremacy reigns.
“I do not believe Jefferson Sessions possesses the requisite judgment, competence, and sensitivity to the rights guaranteed by federal civil rights laws to qualify for appointment…Based on his record, I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect…on the progress we have made everywhere toward fulfilling my husband’s dream that he envisioned over twenty years ago. I therefore urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to deny his confirmation.”