Sen. Schatz to Oppose Sessions NominationJanuary 26, 2017, 10:19 AM HST (Updated January 26, 2017, 10:21 AM)
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today released the following statement announcing he will vote against President Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for United States Attorney General.
“Our next attorney general will face critical challenges that will test our justice system and our values. We will need a leader committed to protecting the rights of every American, regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation. While I respect him as a colleague, Sen. Sessions is the wrong person to serve as attorney general.
“Throughout Sen. Sessions’ career, he has been on the wrong side of history. As a U.S. attorney and in the Senate, he failed to protect fundamental civil rights, including the right to vote. When he had the chance to protect equal rights for LGBTQ Americans and help reform a racially biased and outdated sentencing system, he refused to do so. When the Department of Justice worked to end racial discrimination and the use of excessive force by police, he stood in opposition. And when confronted with the reality of the president’s inhumane plan to deport undocumented children who call the United States home, he showed zero empathy.
“Time and time again, when presented with the opportunity to advocate for the central mission of the Justice Department—pursuing equal justice for all—Sen. Sessions fell short.
“The Department of Justice needs a leader who can fully commit to protecting democracy and civil rights for all Americans, and build on our country’s foundation as a nation of immigrants. Sen. Sessions is not that leader.”