CNN Cites Aron: Trump Court List Shows ‘Radical-Right’ Ideology

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for formal group photo in the East Conference Room in WashingtonAFJ CRITICAL OF TRUMP 21: President-elect Donald Trump’s list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees reflects a search for a kind of diversity the court lacks, CNN reported, including “a nod to judges from ‘flyover’ states, an appreciation for non-Ivy League schools and even a dash of political experience.” The report quoted our sister organization, the Alliance for Justice, as raising fundamental questions about the list:

“Nan Aron, of the liberal Alliance for Justice, has lashed out at the list saying [it] reflects a ‘radical-right’ ideology. Unlike Trump who could stress diversity on the list she points to potential nominees who ‘threaten fundamental rights’ and favor ‘the powerful and privileged'” over every day Americans.

CNN also wrote mini-profiles of each individual on the list. At The Washington Post’s PostEverything blog, Ben Adler recommended that “Democrats should filibuster anyone Trump nominates to the Supreme Court seat that was, by any reasonable read, [President] Obama’s to fill.” Taking a different view was Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., who “warned the Democratic Party not to engage in payback when it comes to President-elect Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court or they will continue to lose a significant portion of the electorate in rural states like his who helped hand Trump the presidency,” according to The Washington Examiner.

SHARPTON PLANNING D.C. RALLY: The Rev. Al Sharpton plans a Washington rally on Jan. 14 to “put the Democrats on notice that we expect them to use the nomination hearings to really go after” Trump’s choices for top jobs including Attorney General, according to The Hill. It will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial two days before the public holiday that honors the slain civil rights leader.

“Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) has emerged as the biggest target for Sharpton and other civil rights figures, after Trump picked him to lead the Justice Department,” The Hill noted. Meanwhile Mother Jones had an article headlined, “John Roberts Gutted the Voting Rights Act. Jeff Sessions is Poised to Finish It Off,” while a Washington Examiner headline said, “Five former attorneys general urge swift confirmation of Sessions.”

SUPREME COURT AND REDISTRICTING CASES: The Supreme Court heard oral argument in two cases on Monday “involving challenges from African-American voters to electoral districts in North Carolina and Virginia,” according to The Associated Press, and the AP said “Justice Anthony Kennedy appears to hold the decisive vote” on the eight-member court.

Will Senate Democrats Slow the Process for Trump Nominees?

davidson-sessions2-1200A ‘GRINDING’ CONFIRMATION PROCESS AHEAD: “Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office,” Politico reported.

Attorney General pick Sen. Jeff Sessions “looks like he’s in for an especially rough ride. [Sen. Sherrod] Brown said Sessions ‘was dissed by the Senate once for his racism,’ a reference to his rejection by the chamber 30 years ago to become a federal judge,” the article said.

Democrats’ plans to affect the confirmation process are partly a response to Senate Republicans’ obstruction of President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination for Judge Merrick Garland. “They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” said Brown, D-Ohio. “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”

The Pew Research Center, meanwhile, issued an analysis titled “What kinds of backgrounds do US attorneys general have?” and Newsweek had an opinion by Jacob Sullum, “Attorney General Pick Sessions is a Drug War Dinosaur.” The Hill reported that Sessions’ nomination is likely to be among the first considered, and, “It’s also possible that the Senate Judiciary Committee could seek to confirm a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court shortly after Sessions is confirmed.”

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial had scathing criticism for the blockade against Garland’s nomination. “Indeed, the Senate has established a terrible precedent that makes it less likely that any president will be able to get a Senate controlled by the other party to confirm his Supreme Court nominees, however wise and well-qualified,” the editorial said. “This was a study in Washington politics at its worst — political and constitutional malpractice — and it will have a lasting consequence.”

ON VOTING RULES, COURTS AND SESSIONS: In an article about voting rules in a Trump era, The New York Times said, “Several potentially decisive federal court rulings on voting rules and redistricting, most favoring voting-rights advocates, now appear bound for a Supreme Court whose ideological balance is in Mr. Trump’s hands. Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a linchpin of some of those cases, will fall to a Justice Department whose likely attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, is viewed with deep suspicion by civil rights advocates.”

AFJ, Other Groups Condemn Sessions’ ‘Hostility’ to Protecting Civil Rights

Sessions
Sessions

LETTERS OPPOSE SESSIONS’ NOMINATION: Letters to senators urging rejection of Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General and signed by almost 150 civil rights and progressive advocacy groups, including our sister organization Alliance for Justice, were making headlines today.

McClatchy reported that the groups said, “Senator Sessions has a 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants, disregard for the rule of law, and hostility to the protection of civil rights that makes him unfit to serve as the Attorney General of the United States.” You can read the letter’s text by clicking here.

“As head of the Justice Department, Sessions would be sworn to enforce the nation’s laws ‘without prejudice and with an eye toward justice,’ the letter stated,” according to McClatchy. “And, just as important, the Attorney General has to be seen by the public – every member of the public, from every community – as a fair arbiter of justice. Unfortunately, there is little in Senator Sessions’ record that demonstrates that he would meet such a standard.” Also reporting on the letters were  The Hill and Courthouse News Service.

Related coverage and commentary included CNN, “Jeff Sessions fought as Alabama attorney general to keep an LGBT conference from meeting on a public campus”; Washington Post, “Sen. Sessions once linked special education law to ‘decline in civility’ in classrooms”; Huffington Post, “Jeff Sessions Didn’t Like How The Supreme Court Spared ‘Retarded’ People From Execution”; Carrie Sheffield in Salon, “Calling Jeff Sessions ‘racist’ conveniently ignores the work he’s done for Alabama’s black community”; and Politico, “Trump team urges GOP to play up Sessions’ ‘strong civil rights record.'”

SUPREME COURT VACANCY: “President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday night he had narrowed his choices for a potential Supreme Court nominee to ‘three or four’ candidates and that a decision would be coming ‘pretty soon,'” according to Politico. Regarding discussion in the Senate about changing filibuster rules, a topic getting a lot of attention as a Supreme Court nomination is anticipated, “Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake want to preserve Senate filibuster,” The Arizona Republic reported, and a headline in The Hill said, “GOP senators wary of nuking filibuster.”

Chemerinsky: ‘Unconscionable’ for Sessions to Lead Rights Enforcement

doj-hacked-1078x515LAW DEAN URGES ‘NO’ VOTES ON SESSIONS’ NOMINATION: “Jeff Sessions as the enforcer of federal civil rights and environmental laws is truly an oxymoron,” Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Irvine School of Law wrote in an Orange County Register op-ed urging rejection of the senator’s nomination as Attorney General. Chemerinsky explained:

“It is unconscionable to put Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions in charge of federal civil rights and federal environmental enforcement. Sessions repeatedly has shown that he is at the extreme right in these areas and he should not be the attorney general of the United States. Although it would take political courage to stand up to the newly elected president, pressure should be placed on moderate Republicans to join Democratic senators in denying confirmation to Sessions.”

A Washington Post Fact Checker piece, meanwhile, examined “The facts about the voter fraud case that sank Jeff Sessions’s bid for a judgeship.” Nan Aron, president of our sister organization the Alliance for Justice, wrote recently about the case in a commentary for The Hill (see Gavel Grab) opposing confirmation of Sessions. Other coverage and commentary included The Washington Post, “Voting rights advocates brace for ‘biggest fight of our lifetime’ during Trump administration”; AL.com, “[Sen.] Shelby in 1986 ran campaign ad saying Sessions called KKK ‘good ole boys'”; and a CNN.com opinion by Brett J. Talley, “Democrats, the party who cried racist.”

SUPREME COURT VACANCY: USA Today profiled President-elect Trump’s listed potential Supreme Court picks in an article headlined, “Trump’s 21 potential court nominees are overwhelmingly white, male and from red states.”

On Trump’s Flag-Burning View, USA Today Quotes Critique by AFJ’s Aron

1-first-amendment‘FLIRTING WITH A VISION OF A DARK AND TOTALITARIAN AMERICA’: President-elect Donald Trump’s tweeted desire to make flag-burning a criminal offense set off a firestorm of controversy, and USA Today quoted our sister organization, the Alliance for Justice, denouncing it.

“Trump is flirting here with a vision of a dark and totalitarian America, which should be a terrifying prospect for all Americans,” AFJ President Nan Aron said. AFJ and numerous other organizations and constitutional law experts emphasized that the Supreme Court has upheld the right to burn a flag, and even the late Justice Antonin Scalia agreed about its constitutionality.

A New York Times editorial took Trump to task and noted, “[T]he Supreme Court said in a 1990 decision finding a federal law against flag-burning unconstitutional, ‘Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered, and worth revering.’” Observed a Washington Post editorial, “It would be President Trump’s prerogative to urge Congress, and the states, to rewrite the First Amendment along more repressive lines. Like Scalia, we prefer the original.”

EXPEDITED HEARING FOR SESSIONS’ NOMINATION? Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke of wanting to hold a hearing on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general before the January 20th inauguration, according to The Washington Times, TPM DC, and Politico, among other others. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said, “I don’t know that we can” do it so quickly. “For example, I don’t become ranking member until next year … we need the staff to do some of this work. I’m a little bit surprised.”

South Florida Gay News mentioned AFJ’s recently finding Sessions “unfit in every way” for the Attorney General post and added that AFJ “contends Sessions ‘has demonstrated throughout his career that he is incapable of and unqualified for this important role.’” Meanwhile, CNBC reported, “Trump may have just set up his attorney general pick for more Democratic attacks: The president-elect’s baseless claims about widespread illegal voting could lead to more Democratic attacks on Sen. Jeff Sessions.” An AL.com headline declared, “Democrats concerned about Jeff Sessions as attorney general, but have little recourse.”

COURTS IN A TRUMP ERA: At Huffington Post, Brianne J. Gorod of the Constitutional Accountability Center wrote, “Can Courts Hold Trump Accountable For Violating The Emoluments Clause?” A Los Angeles Times article was headlined, “Supreme Court dispute over jailing immigrants takes on new importance in Trump era,” while WNYC.org examined what it called “The Supreme Court Case that Could Seriously Impact a Trump Presidency.”

Trump’s Pick of Sessions Gets Heat from Wary Editorial Boards

trump-sessionsEDITORIAL BOARDS SPEAK OUT: Editorial boards around the nation are among the voices criticizing President-elect Trump’s choice of Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general, or urging rejection of the nomination.

Concludes The (San Antonio) Express-News‘ editorial board: “Sen. Sessions has demonstrated a hostility for immigration, the Voting Rights Act and crime reform to unskew systemic harshness for Americans of color. In advice and consent, the president has no right of consent if a nominee is unacceptable. Sessions is. We will be looking for Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to reject this nomination, as should the entire Senate.”

Cautions The Miami Herald’s editorial board: “Sen. Sessions is the leading foe of immigration reform in the U.S. Senate.” It continues, “[H]is nomination offers little reassurance to dampen well-founded fears of what a Trump presidency will bring for immigrant communities and those who cherish civil liberties.”

Mother Jones, meanwhile, reports that during Supreme Court confirmation hearings for then-nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Sessions “spent his entire 30 minutes of questions with Sotomayor trying to determine whether she would be biased against white people. It’s a revealing line of questioning as Sessions seeks a job with significant influence over the civil rights of all Americans.” Attorney Paul A. Reyes writes at Fox News Latino, “Trump’s pick to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official is toxic to the American ideal of equality for all.” Forbes asks whether special education rights would be safe under an Attorney General Sessions, and Politico suggests that after leading an “anti-immigration crusade” in the Senate, Sessions next year “likely will be the one engineering the immigration crackdown.”

SUPREME COURT VACANCY: Our sister organization Alliance for Justice “is concerned about Trump’s professed desire to appoint an anti-abortion justice and fill ‘dozens and dozens’ of seats on lower courts with a similar bent,” according to a Mission Local article that features AFJ President Nan Aron. Mission Local, which covers the city’s Mission District, quotes national and local lawyers strategizing for legal battles ahead in a Trump presidency.

In Huffington Post, law professor Geoffrey Stone condemns Republican obstructionism of Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court, and says of the successor whom Trump picks, “Every vote that justice casts in the future will be called into question, because that justice will be sitting on the Supreme Court bench because of nothing less than a constitutional coup d’etat.” Ed Whelan fires back at a National Review Online blog,  accusing Stone of “grossly irresponsible rhetoric.” And The New York Times, zeroing in on recent remarks by Justice Samuel Alito Jr., writes, “Supreme Court Agenda in the Trump Era? A Justice Seems to Supply One.”

Documenting Sessions’ ‘Dismal Record,’ AFJ Fact Sheet is Quoted

REGARDING SESSIONS’ RECORD ON CIVIL, LGBTQ RIGHTS: Our sister organization the Alliance for Justice has issued a fact sheet on Sen. Jeff Sessions, picked by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as attorney general, and it reflects “a dismal record on civil rights, the environment, immigration, criminal justice and women’s rights,” according to an EDGE Media Network article.

logoSessions’ record on LGBTQ rights falls “into step with the rest of his record,” including votes  against an amendment prohibiting discrimination against LGBT students and for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, the article said. EDGE Media describes itself as “the largest network of local Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) news and entertainment publications in the world.”

Other coverage and commentary about Sessions’ nomination included St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Leader of DOJ Ferguson probe says Sessions is wrong for attorney general post”; from the NNPA Newswire as published in the Birmingham Times, “Civil Rights Groups Furious in Opposition to Jeff Sessions Nod for U.S. Attorney General”; a (Jackson, Ms.) Clarion-Ledger column by Bill Minor, “AG Nominee Has Disdain for Voting Rights Laws”; and AL.com, “From courtrooms to Capitol Hill: The evolution of Jeff Sessions.”

SUPREME COURT VACANCY: According to The Washington Post, “The Judicial Crisis Network is launching more than a half-million dollars in TV and digital ads Sunday that feature Trump’s remarks on the Supreme Court from the final presidential debate — ‘It’s just so imperative that we have the right justices’ — along with a message asking viewers to thank Trump for pledging to nominate conservative jurists to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

In The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse said that if a Trump-era Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade and the issue was sent back to the states, as Trump has suggested, it could create a dichotomy that prompted her to remark, “Half slave and half free. The last time the United States split into two countries, it didn’t work out at all well.” Meanwhile, Fox News said a Supreme Court choice is on Trump’s “immediate agenda,” and  Bloomberg Law profiled Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond M. Kethledge, whom Trump has listed among his potential high court picks.

JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS: At The Daily Beast, Jay Michaelson called on President Obama to use his recess appointment powers to name dozens of federal judges whose nominations have been left in limbo by Senate inaction.

If Pryor is Picked for Court, Beware a National ‘Firestorm,’ Aron Warns

Judge Pryor speaking at the 201
Judge Pryor 

PRYOR GAINING TRUMP FAVOR FOR HIGH COURT? Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “appears to have the inside track” for a Trump nomination to the Supreme Court, “according to conservative lawyers and advisors in touch with the [president-elect’s] transition team,” the Los Angeles Times reported. It quoted our sister organization, the Alliance for Justice, about the fierce opposition a Pryor nomination would provoke:

“‘His nomination would ignite a firestorm across the country,’ said Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, among the liberal activist groups that are already mobilizing to fight a Pryor nomination. ‘Our organization and others would pull out every stop to keep him off the court.’”

Pryor has called Roe vs. Wade the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law” and “believes in [the late Justice Antonin] Scalia’s approach of interpreting the Constitution by its ‘original meaning’ — one which has little room for gay rights, even women’s rights,” the newspaper said. “His nomination would electrify Trump’s conservative base, but it would also set off a confirmation battle for which the outcome is not assured.”

Meanwhile, an Associated Press article examined rules changes engineered by Senate Democrats in 2013 that will ease Trump’s getting confirmation of his Cabinet nominees, while at the same time permitting President Obama to get more judicial nominees confirmed. Since the rules change, the AP noted, he has put three judges on the federal appeals court in Washington, and appointees of Democratic presidents now hold a 7-4 majority there. The court is often viewed as second in importance only to the Supreme Court.

Without the rules change, Trump would get to fill those D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seats and judgeships elsewhere, AFJ’s Aron told the AP. “They will undoubtedly hear challenges to Trump’s regulatory agenda, challenges to executive orders,” she said.

CONTROVERSY SWIRLS OVER SESSIONS NOMINATION: There’s no let-up in the controversy over Sen. Jeff Sessions’ upcoming nomination for attorney general. Coverage and commentary included former Justice Department official J. Gerald Hebert writing in The Washington Post, “Why I told the Senate that Jeff Sessions thought civil rights groups were ‘un-American’”; PBS NewsHour examining Sessions’ potential influence on immigration policy; The Guardian, “Jeff Sessions accused of retaliation after claims of racism cost him a judgeship”; Scientific American, “Trump Picks a Climate Skeptic to Enforce Environmental Laws”; Christopher Kang at Huffington Post, “The Debate over Sessions’ Nomination for Attorney General Isn’t Over—It’s Just Beginning”; and National Review Online, “Senator Jeff Sessions Will Be the Restorative Attorney General We Need.”

FEDERAL COURT NEWS: In the wake of a federal court’s ruling about unconstitutional political gerrymandering in Wisconsin (see Gavel Grab), USA Today had an analysis headlined, “Redrawing the battle lines? Trump’s Supreme Court could make the call,” and Mark Joseph Stern wrote for Slate, “Why the Ruling Against Wisconsin’s Gerrymander Could Change Redistricting in America.”

Has Jeff Sessions Turned ‘Personal Bigotry into Political Action’?

Sessi
Sessions

‘THE TOTAL TRUMPISM’ OF APPOINTING SESSIONS: The “workaday racism” exposed in allegations aired in 1986 about Jeff Sessions, when he was considered for a federal judgeship and not confirmed, ought to be enough to scuttle his nomination for attorney general, Amy Davidson writes in The New Yorker. “But, given the particular responsibilities of the Department of Justice, which range from defending voting rights to oversight of the F.B.I., Sessions’s appointment would be even more upsetting, and frankly dangerous, than those slurs suggest. He has a record of turning what some might be tempted to write off as personal bigotry into political action.”

Davidson writes about early and ardent campaigning by Sessions, now a U.S. senator, for Donald Trump, his opposition to immigration reform and his harsh statements about Muslims immigrating here. “The worst aspects of Sessions are, in other words, entirely in keeping with the expressed plans of the President-elect who wants him to be his chief lawman,” she asserts. Her essay is titled, “The Total Trumpism of Jeff Sessions, Attorney General Nominee.”

You can learn more about the 1986 allegations, and the concerns raised by our sister organization Alliance for Justice about the Sessions nomination, by clicking here. Other coverage and commentary includes Mother Jones, “Jeff Sessions Fought Against Hate Crime Protections for LGBT Victims”; Newsweek, “Who is the New Attorney General Pick, Jeff Sessions?”; and a New York Times op-ed by Thomas J. Sugrue, “Jeff Sessions’ Other Civil Rights Problem.”

THE FUTURE OF THE SUPREME COURT: Taking stock of a year that saw both record outside spending to elect state supreme court judges and presidential candidates’ endorsement of litmus tests for judges, Robert Gebelhoff writes at a Washington Post blog that “The courts face a troubling crisis of independence, and it seems to be encouraged — if not driven — by pressure from electors.” At Pacific Standard, political scientist Seth Masket says, “Republicans have successfully kept President Obama from appointing a ninth member of the Supreme Court, but that’s a short-term win that will have long-term consequences.”

A Washington Post article, meanwhile, examines “3 questions about the Supreme Court’s future: (Yes, Trump probably could nominate his sister),” and The Fiscal Times reports, “3 Reasons Trump Could Put Cruz on the Supreme Court.”

JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS: The headline for law professor Carl Tobias’ op-ed in The Los Angeles Times sums up a season of partisan obstructionism this way: “Federal courts need 94 judges. The Senate should vote on qualified nominees now.” About a New York federal court nominee awaiting action, The Buffalo News quotes Sen. Charles Schumer saying, “Now is the time for the Senate to do its job and promptly approve Ms. [Kathleen] Sweet because the backlog in caseload needs to be addressed right away.”

FEDERAL COURT NEWS: “A panel of three federal judges said on Monday that the Wisconsin Legislature’s 2011 redrawing of State Assembly districts to favor Republicans was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, the first such ruling in three decades of pitched legal battles over the issue,” according to The New York Times.

Schumer: Fight a Far-Right Court Nominee ‘With Everything We Have’

Schumer
Schumer

SEN. SCHUMER PREPARES FOR TRUMP NOMINEE: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York warned that if President-elect Trump does not choose a mainstream nominee for the Supreme Court, “we’re going to go at him with everything we have, or her,” according to The (Albany) Times Union. Fellow Democrats will “go at the candidate with everything we’ve got because this is so, so important,” he pledged.

The newspaper said that Schumer and fellow New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “and other Democrats promise a deep probe of any nominee’s legal views, as well as vigilance in the face of the inevitable ‘confirmation conversion’ — backpedaling by nominees on past controversial writings and opinions.”

Bloomberg had an article headlined, “Reversing Roe [vs. Wade] Easier Said Than Done as Trump Looks to High Court,” and it quoted Nan Aron, president of our sister organization, Alliance for Justice. “Based on the very preliminary research that we’ve done, all of them are problematic,” Aron said about the 21 individuals Trump has listed as potential Supreme Court nominees. To read a full commentary by Aron about the future of the Supreme Court, see her Huffington Post essay by clicking here. Meanwhile a National Review headline said, “Trump Would Relish a Supreme Court Fight.”

FEDERALIST SOCIETY CONFERENCE AND AFJ: “U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday urged hundreds of Federalist Society members to continue the work of the late Antonin Scalia in promoting originalism and limited government,” The National Law Journal (accessible through Google searching, registration required) said. “[T]he liberal Alliance for Justice issued a statement objecting to his appearance at what it claimed was a fundraiser for the society.”

Reporter Tony Mauro continued, “The code of conduct for federal judges—which does not bind Supreme Court justices—prohibits judges from appearing at fundraisers. In prior squabbles over talks by Thomas and other justices, the Federalist Society has insisted that the banquet is not a fundraiser. At the beginning of the event Thursday night, [president Eugene] Meyer thanked the society’s major donors for helping it to reach a nearly $18 million annual budget.”

SESSIONS FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL FUELS CONTROVERSY: The incoming president’s choice of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for attorney general (see Gavel Grab) continued to generate controversy. Coverage and commentary included The Atlantic, “Will Jeff Sessions Roll Back Civil-Rights Protections?”; The Nation, “Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights”; Salon, “Jeff Sessions’ long perversion of justice: Trump’s pick for Attorney General has waged a 30-year battle against voting rights”; The Washington Post, “Reince Priebus: Criticism of Jeff Sessions as attorney general ‘very political, very unfair'”; NBC News, “Jeff Sessions a ‘Deeply Disturbing’ Attorney General Pick, Says LGBTQ Rights Group”; and AL.com, “Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions ‘is not a racist’: Supporters defend Trump’s pick for Attorney General.”