Although there are many important issues that will inevitably require organized and vocal mobilization of progressives over the course of Trump’s presidency, the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to Trump’s Cabinet as the next Attorney General of the United States is extremely troubling and should be met with urgent opposition by all those in favor of expanding, not restricting, voting rights.
In anticipation of his Senate confirmation vote, the Progressive Turnout Project welcomed our supporters last week to voice their discontent by signing a petition asking their Senators to reject the appointment of Sessions to the highest legal office in the country — a position that he will likely abuse, given his track record restricting minority franchise over the course of his controversial career:
- Supported the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013
- Supports Voter ID laws when more than 10% of Americans, predominantly poor and minority, don’t have access to an acceptable government-issued photo ID
- Supports the disenfranchisement of felons, which keeps 6 million Americans from voting
- Was denied a Federal Judgeship in the 1980s for falsely prosecuting black political activists and making racist comments
In one day PTP gathered over 12,400 signatures from progressives in all 50 states where people are legitimately concerned about the future of voting rights under a Trump Presidency. We then mailed the petition to all 100 US senators in a last minute effort to convince them that Jeff Sessions is unfit to serve as the head of the Department of Justice.
Despite succeeding in delaying the initial vote on Session’s confirmation in order to provide more time for reasonable questioning, the Senate Judiciary Committee finally voted this morning to advance the nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. It came as no surprise that members of the committee voted along party lines (11-9), with Democrats on the panel, led by Senator Diane Feinstein, unanimously rejecting the nominee due to serious concerns over Sessions’ willingness to be a nonpartisan check to an already hostile executive branch after having been an early and outspoken supporter of Trump’s candidacy for presidency.
After Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired by Trump on Monday for refusing to direct the Department of Justice to enforce the recent controversial immigration ban, it has become evident that we need an Attorney General who will be fair in enforcing federal law and will not back down from holding our erratic president accountable, which Sen. Jeff Sessions has not proved likely to do once in office.
Although Republicans now have control of both Congress and the White House, it is important for progressives around the country to remain engaged and active moving forward. Therefore we here at PTP are committed to staying informed and encouraging our supporters to exercise their first Amendment rights until we see the change happen that is necessary. That is why we hope you do your part by clicking here to contact your senator before Sessions’ final confirmation and telling them why he should be rejected.
Thank you to all those who joined together and signed our petition!