WASHINGTON ― Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on President-elect Donald Trump to rescind the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to serve as the country’s next attorney general over allegations he made racist remarks.
But should Trump proceed with Sessions’ nomination, Warren said the Senate must “exercise fundamental moral leadership” and block Sessions from getting the job.
“Instead of embracing the bigotry that fueled his campaign rallies, I urge President-elect Trump to reverse his apparent decision to nominate Senator Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States. If he refuses, then it will fall to the Senate to exercise fundamental moral leadership for our nation and all of its people,” Warren said in a statement. “Thirty years ago, a different Republican Senate rejected Senator Sessions’ nomination to a federal judgeship. In doing so, that Senate affirmed that there can be no compromise with racism; no negotiation with hate. Today, a new Republican Senate must decide whether self-interest and political cowardice will prevent them from once again doing what is right.”
In 1986, the Senate blocked Sessions from getting a federal judgeship over allegations that he called a black attorney “boy,” called a white lawyer a race traitor for representing black clients and suggesting the Ku Klux Klan wasn’t so bad. Sessions also reportedly called civil rights groups “un-American” groups trying to “force civil rights down the throats of people who were trying to put problems behind them.”
A number of elected officials and civil rights groups also condemned Trump’s pick after it was announced on Friday.
“If you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said in a statement on Friday.
“In the last 30 years, Sessions has done nothing that demonstrates that the Senate’s judgement was incorrect or that he’s learned from his mistakes,” Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, said in a statement.