In a little over a month’s time confirmation hearings will begin to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama, as the nation’s 84th attorney general. Last week reports surfaced that members of President-elect Donald Trump’s team are advising that this effort should focus on the nominee’s “strong civil rights record.” This public relations strategy has become the new normal: take the most glaring weakness of your candidate and present it through the looking glass. And so Jeff Sessions, lifelong civil rights foe, becomes a civil rights advocate. This is precisely the challenge the Senate will confront in successive confirmation hearings for the new administration’s controversial cabinet picks.
Continuing the winning strategy of the campaign, the administration-in-waiting has already shown us that it will not be bound by facts. This is why, in the coming administration, the law will matter more than almost anything else if we are to hold on to fundamental democratic principles. Our nation’s civil rights laws will be especially important.
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