News of President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to name Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as his new Attorney General is causing widespread alarm.
The appointment of Sessions— a longtime Trump supporter whose 1986 appointment to the federal judiciary was blocked by a Republican-controlled Senate over wildly racist comments he’d allegedly made throughout his career—is a sign for many that the Trump administration will be as extreme as they all feared. (But hey—at least white supremacists are happy!)
Among those horrified by the prospect of a Justice Department headed by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL). Gutiérrez issued a statement on Friday blasting Sessions’ history of discrimination and racism, and subtly mocking President-elect Trump’s faux-yearning for America’s onetime greatness. It’s a must-read:
If you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man. No Senator has fought harder against the hopes and aspirations of Latinos, immigrants, and people of color than Sen. Sessions. He is a staunch opponent of legal immigration and someone who has blocked every effort to improve, modernize, and humanize our immigration system, which is two or three decades out-of-date. He ran for the Senate because he was deemed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as too racist to serve as a federal judge. He is the kind of person who will set back law enforcement, civil rights, the courts, and increase America’s mass incarceration industry and erase 50 years of progress.
This is hardly the first time Gutiérrez has torched Sessions for his ultra-conservative views. In early 2015, when Sessions assumed chairmanship of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Gutiérrez—whose fight for immigrants’ rights was captured in the “Frontline” documentary Immigration Reform—spoke with MSNBC host José Diaz-Balart, framing Sessions’ appointment as a mistake, and ultimately damaging for Republicans interested in addressing the needs of the nation, and not just southern states.
Barring any Republican efforts to block his appointment as Attorney General, Sessions is expected to pass a Senate confirmation hearing.