Trump’s nomination of Senator Sessions to be the next Attorney General is a provocation: to put a man who has spent his entire career undermining civil liberties and voting rights at the helm of the agency tasked with enforcing them makes a mockery of the Constitution and our most cherished values. Sessions has shown himself to be a bigot with the narrowest, most exclusionary view of what it means to be an American. He has aligned himself with white supremacists, nativists, and anti-Muslim groups; fought and spoken out against the rights of Black Americans, gay and trans Americans, and women seeking abortions; and supported the most draconian criminal justice agenda conceivable. He is widely understood to be the most extreme anti-immigrant voice in the Senate, decrying unauthorized immigration, but also blaming all immigrants for a host of society’s ills and slamming the door in the face of refugees, including children, fleeing war and violence. He has proposed punitive actions to retaliate against cities that stand up for their immigrant communities.
Sessions not only dismisses the unconstitutionality of spying on vast swaths of the population without probable cause, he denies, against all evidence, that the U.S. has abused and tortured detainees and prisoners. As Attorney General, he will be charged with upholding both U.S. and international law, but if he continues to have contempt for both, we are surely sunk. There is no one more unqualified to be Attorney General of the United States than Jefferson Sessions.