Civil rights groups slam Trump’s AG pick

Civil rights groups slam Trump’s AG pick
© Getty Images

America’s two most prominent civil rights organizations are lining up against President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE’s selection of Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAttorney General Barr plays bagpipes at conference Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama Trump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake MORE (R-Ala.) for attorney general.

Shortly after Sessions's nomination was announced on Friday, the NAACP tweeted its displeasure:

The ACLU, meanwhile, noted it does not typically oppose or support presidential nominations but strongly objects to the Alabama Republican's appointment.

“Sen. Sessions has called the ACLU un-American and communist, assertions we flatly deny,” executive director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement Friday. "His positions on LGBT rights, capital punishment, abortion rights and presidential authority in times of war have been contested by the ACLU and other civil rights organizations."

ADVERTISEMENT

The groups join leading Democratic voices in opposition to Sessions, who failed to pass the Judiciary Committee during a nomination in the 1980s.

Thirty years ago, Sessions was denied a federal judge position over allegations he had called the NAACP and ACLU “un-American” and that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK, until he learned they smoked marijuana.”

Sessions has vehemently denied the claims, but Democrats are already pointing to the accusations as disqualifying.

Trump lauded his pick to lead the Justice Department in a Friday statement.

“Jeff has been a highly respected member of the U.S. Senate for 20 years,” the president-elect said. "He is a world-class legal mind and considered a truly great Attorney General and U.S. Attorney in the state of Alabama. Jeff is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him.”

Sessions, meanwhile, said he was “humbled” Trump had selected him to possibly lead the Justice Department.

“My previous 15 years working in the Department of Justice were extremely fulfilling,” he said in a statement. "I love the Department, its people and its mission. I can think of no greater honor than to lead them.”