WASHINGTON (AP) – The top Democrat in the Senate says he will oppose the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer says in a statement that although the Alabama senator is a colleague and friend, Schumer has no confidence that Sessions has the ability to defend the rights of all Americans.
Schumer also says he doubts that Sessions can be an independent check on the incoming Trump administration. He says he is deeply concerned about Sessions’ views on immigration.
Schumer worked on the bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill in 2013 that had a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally. Sessions opposed the bill.
Democrat Cory Booker (D-NJ) says his Senate colleague Jeff Sessions has at times exhibited hostility toward civil rights.
Booker took the highly unusual step of testifying against President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general on the second day of Sessions’ confirmation hearings.
The New Jersey senator said an attorney general “must bring hope and healing to the country and this demands a more courageous effort that Sen. Sessions demonstrates.”
Booker added the Alabama Republican’s opposition to reform of the criminal justice system, among other issues.
Sessions was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986 for a judgeship amid accusations that he called a black attorney “boy” – which he denied – and the NAACP and ACLU “un-American.”
Sessions called those accusations “damnably false.”