Faith leaders to Senate: Jeff Sessions’ confirmation would be “a mockery” of Justice Dept


Ahead of Tuesday and Wednesday’s confirmation hearings for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, faith-based groups on Monday reasserted their criticisms of the attorney general nominee citing what they consider Sessions’ record of discrimination, saying should he be confirmed it would be a mockery of the very institution created to address injustice.

“Our sacred texts call us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves,” said Denise Collazo, chief of staff for PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) National Network, the nation’s largest network of faith-based groups. “Time and again, as a U.S. Attorney, Attorney General of Alabama and U.S. Senator — Senator Jeff Sessions has chosen not to show love to his neighbors. The Justice Department is an American institution designed to make sure that we treat one another as we should. The senate should not disregard concerns about Senator Sessions. It is their responsibility to make sure the Justice Department focuses on liberty and justice for all.”

Pastors within the PICO network echoed Collazo’s sentiments.

“It would be a travesty to the progress that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders made for African Americans and people of color to have Jeff Sessions confirmed as the United States Attorney General,” said the Rev. Dr. Wayne M. Weathers, pastor of the Vision of Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

“Historically the Attorney General — regardless of the party in office — has been the defender of marginalized communities,” added Cean James, pastor of the Grace Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ in Philadelphia. “ With Sessions at the helm, it would be difficult for many communities to see the Justice Department as the place to go to for fair protection.”

Sessions was nominated to be the next Attorney General by President-elect Donald Trump in November shortly following his unexpected Election Day victory.

A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions was an early supporter and endorser of Trump,but his nomination has proved very controversial. In 1986 Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship but was ultimately rejected due to allegations of racist comments.