Sessions Gutted Key Tool for Department of Justice to Fix Unconstitutional Conduct

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ issuance of a memorandum to gut the Department of Justice’s use of consent decrees:

“Jeff Sessions’ parting act was another attack on the core mission of the Department of Justice. The memo is designed to restrict consent decrees and creates a series of increasingly higher roadblocks to render them rare and ineffective. Consent decrees are a necessary, careful tool to ensure entities such as schools, employers, and law enforcement remedy patterns and practices of unconstitutional conduct. These agreements have judicial oversight and are used only when there is clear, overwhelming, and well documented evidence. The rationale for such oversight has not disappeared. This move is a slap in the face to the dedicated career staff of the department who work tirelessly to enforce our nation’s civil rights laws.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is 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 member organizations, visit