UPDATE: Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to recite Coretta’s speech in its entirety on the Senate Floor last night, to protest the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Trump’s pick for attorney general. However, Warren was silenced by Republicans while reading the speech, although she was able to read it in full in a viral Facebook Live video (Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley later read the letter in its entirety on the Senate Floor).
Donald Trump‘s nominee for attorney general Jeff Sessions has come under increased fire from civil rights groups for racist remarks and racially motivated actions made by the nominee. Jeff Sessions, whose full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, is currently Senator for the state of Alabama. He is 70-years-old. In 1986, activist, civil rights leader, and widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King wrote a letter denouncing the nomination of Sessions to a federal judgeship to members of the Judiciary Committee. King wrote that Sessions’ appointment would “irreparably damage the work of my husband.”
Sessions has been accused of using racial slurs. He also pursued, King wrote, “politically-motivated voting fraud prosecutions.” Sessions was not confirmed for the position though he would go on to become Alabama’s attorney general. Just a few days back, members of the NAACP staged a sit-in at Sessions’ Alabama office to protest his nomination to Attorney General of the United States. Sessions once joked that he supported the Ku Klux Klan until he learned they smoked marijuana. He was also accused of referring to a black attorney as “boy.”
In the cover page of the nine page letter, King wrote, “I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.” The confirmation hearings for Sessions, which are currently underway, were interrupted by protesters dressed in KKK robes.
Read Coretta Scott King’s letter in full below via The Washington Post.
H/T: The Washington Post