Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Reports Of Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination To Be The Attorney General Of The United States

“The Attorney General serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the country.  The Attorney General must be independent and fair.  The Attorney General must be deeply committed to the rule of law and must ensure that all people are treated equally before the law.  This means that he or she is also the chief protector of civil rights and civil liberties for everyone in our Nation.  That has never been more important than in this moment, when hate crimes have spiked across the country, especially against Muslim and LGBTQ Americans.  And when we have a President-elect who has proposed religious tests, a return to torture, and a deportation force that threatens to remove millions of immigrants. 

“Senator Sessions and I have had significant disagreements over the years, particularly on civil rights, voting rights, immigration and criminal justice issues.  But unlike Republicans’ practice of unprecedented obstruction of President Obama’s nominees, I believe nominees deserve a full and fair process before the Senate.  The American people deserve to learn about Senator Sessions’ record at the public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.” 

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