"To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans." -- Department of Justice Mission Statement
For those inclined to "wait and see" and "give him a chance," the nomination of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions lll for US attorney general should lay to rest any thought that Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric was mere political hyperbole. Even when measured against Trump's previous leading candidates for the position, namely Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani, the nomination of Sessions is especially egregious. Sessions' particular unfitness for the position stands out even in an era that has seen successive less-than-stellar candidates serve at attorney general.
Countless articles have been written detailing Sessions' racist past. He reportedly called a black federal prosecutor "boy" and advised him to "be careful what you say to white folks." While serving as US attorney in Alabama, Sessions was reported to have called the NAACP and the ACLU "un-American" and "communist-inspired." Sessions is further reported to have said both groups "forced civil rights down the throats of people."
Numerous witnesses came forward with similar claims during the 1986 hearings into Sessions' nomination to the federal bench. It was learned during the hearings that Sessions called a white civil-rights lawyer a "disgrace to his race" and referred to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a "piece of intrusive legislation." A Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee took the unusual step of failing to advance Sessions' nomination to the full Senate for consideration.
In short, he was deemed to be completely unfit to serve as a federal judge.
The voters of Alabama have nevertheless seen fit to send Sessions to the US Senate as their representative where he has served since 1996. Ironically, he serves on the same committee that had previously voted down his judicial nomination.
And now with a 20-year record in the US Senate that includes virulent anti-immigration hostility, utter disdain for the rights of the accused, and seemingly unconditional fealty to law enforcement, Sessions has emerged as Trumps' nominee for US attorney general.
Sessions' nomination signals the Trump administration's determination to fulfil some of the more incendiary promises made during the campaign. The on-again, off-again Muslim ban cannot be realized without the willing assistance of the US attorney general. Sessions leaves little doubt that he would gleefully endorse even the most outrageous plans of the new administration.
As if the aforementioned were not in itself disqualifying, there is an incident in Sessions' past career as a federal prosecutor that is even more disturbing.
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