[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, following two days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced that he will oppose the nomination of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be Attorney General of the United States. Later today, Blumenthal plans to speak on the Senate Floor to detail the reasoning behind his decision to oppose Sessions’ nomination to this critical Cabinet position.
“After reviewing Senator Sessions’ record and reflecting on his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support his nomination to be Attorney General of the United States. At his confirmation hearing, Senator Sessions said simply that he would follow the law. But the Attorney General of the United States must be more than a follower. He must be a leader committed to fighting for civil rights and liberties and the active pursuit of justice,” Blumenthal said.
“Senator Sessions has failed to convince me that he will be a champion of constitutional rights: voting rights, women’s health care and privacy rights, and anti-discrimination protections. Rather, he has demonstrated hostility and antipathy – even downright opposition – to these bedrock Constitutional principles. He has prided himself on his vociferous opposition to comprehensive immigration reform – legislation that passed the Senate with 68 bipartisan votes. He staunchly opposed a criminal justice reform bill that has attracted a group of 25 cosponsors, Democrats and Republicans. He even split with the majority of his own party to vote against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Indeed, his career demonstrates a prevailing hostility to the very rights and liberties that the nation’s chief law enforcement officer must always promote and defend. Equally important, I have no confidence he will be the independent, non-political enforcer the nation needs – at a moment when the incoming Administration faces ethical and legal controversies that are unprecedented in scope and scale in our history.”