Erin Biggs: Sessions’ appointment disturbing
January 18, 2017
President-Elect Donald Trump's appointment of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to the position of Attorney General is deeply disturbing.
In 1986, Jeff Sessions was denied an appointment as a federal judge based on testimonies that ranged from his support of the KKK to his outspoken opposition to the NAACP. His former colleagues testified Sessions used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were "okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana."
During those same hearings, Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote a letter to Congress stating that Sessions would "irreparably damage the work" of her late husband.
"Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts," King wrote. "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters."
Jeff Sessions was once labeled "Amnesty's Worst Enemy" by the conservative National Review. Since 1997, Sessions has opposed nearly every immigration bill, which included a path to citizenship for undocumented persons that has come before the Senate. He has also suggested that unaccompanied children and families who have crossed the border illegally be quickly deported. Sessions has linked terror attacks against the U.S. to immigrant Muslim families.
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Mr. Sessions has a long history of climate-change denial (saying in 2015 "carbon pollution is CO2, and that's really not a pollutant. It's a plant food, and it doesn't really harm anybody…") and homophobia (as Alabama's attorney general, in 1996, Sessions attempted to stop the Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference from meeting at the University of Alabama under a state law passed in 1992 that made it illegal for public universities to fund a group that promotes "actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws.")
On foreign policy, Sessions once voted against an amendment banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners.
Though he now admits grabbing a woman by the genitals without consent is sexual assault, Mr. Sessions was initially publicly uncertain and originally said it would be “a stretch” to call genitalia grabbing sexual assault.
While many state representatives have condemned Session's appointment, our Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner have so far remained silent. The people of Colorado deserve leaders who will stand up for them and offer leadership, support and guidance. Coloradans need our elected officials to raise their voices and stand up for what is right.
I respectfully call on Senators Gardner and Bennet to issue a strong public statement condemning the appointment of Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General and to demand a more appropriate appointment.