Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls Sessions Confirmation a ‘Grave Mistake’

Categories: Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398,

WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to today’s Senate confirmation of the Jeff Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General:

“The Senate has made a grave mistake in confirming Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.

Sessions’ hearing and record of failing to uphold America’s ideals of justice and equality for all show he is unfit to be our nation’s top law enforcement official. He has no place leading our nation’s enforcement of civil rights and voting rights laws or implementing our nation’s desperately needed reforms to policing.

Confirming Sessions has jeopardized the equal and fair treatment of people of color, women, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees. Sessions has an extreme 30-year record of demonizing these communities and has built his career on disregarding the rule of law and fueling hostility towards the protection of civil rights. Sessions, an early cheerleader for Donald Trump, also failed to prove that he would serve as the people’s lawyer, not the president’s. 

Sessions’ nomination has been so toxic that Senate Republicans shamefully silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren Tuesday night when she tried to read a 30-year-old letter from Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor that opposed Sessions’ previous unsuccessful nomination for a federal judgeship.  King had written that, as a federal prosecutor, Sessions used his power to ‘chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.’ Three decades later, nothing in Sessions’ record disproves her words.

America has taken note. While Senator Warren was denied the right to speak on the floor, other Americans have loudly voiced their opinion, including over one million who submitted a petition yesterday urging senators to oppose Sessions’ nomination.

Despite today’s vote, our values and our quest for equality and justice will prevail. And the civil and human rights coalition will continue to fight for the rights and liberties of every person in America.

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit