Ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be the U.S. Attorney General, Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, issued the following statement:

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has the important charge of determining whether Senator Jeff Sessions is truly qualified to serve as the top law enforcement official of the United States.

“The U.S. Attorney General has a responsibility to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice to all Americans, which includes protecting and enforcing the constitutional and civil rights of all Americans. But in his 20-year career as a United States Senator and in his decades practicing law, Senator Sessions’ record clearly demonstrates an unrelenting hostility to the principles of equality and justice, and to the core civil rights statutes and legal principles that as Attorney General he would be charged with enforcing. For these reasons we believe that Senator Sessions is too divisive, too extreme and incapable of protecting the interests and safety of all Americans. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund therefore strongly opposes the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.

“We do not reach this conclusion lightly. Further, given Senator Session’s extensive and troubling record, we are deeply disappointed with the rush towards hasty consideration of his nomination, and urge the Committee to lead a detailed and extensive discussion with the Senator and the witnesses that fully interrogates Senator Sessions’ record and his fitness to serve as the lawyer for the people. The Senate Judiciary Committee and the people they represent must be confident that the nominee for this crucial post can effectively, with an unbiased approach, enforce our nation’s civil rights and racial justice laws and stand up for the equal rights of all Americans. What we do know of Senator Sessions’ record from the time this committee denied his first nomination in 1986 until now tells us that he cannot.”

 The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund sent a report to the Senate Judiciary Committee outlining concern over the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions. The full text of the report is available here.



Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.