Tags: richard blumenthal | jeff sessions | attorney general | donald trump

Sen. Richard Blumenthal 'Unconvinced,' Not Supporting Sessions

Image: Sen. Richard Blumenthal 'Unconvinced,' Not Supporting Sessions

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 01:29 PM

Sen. Richard Blumenthal will not support President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, being "unconvinced" that he will fight for civil rights and liberties or stand up to Trump when needed.

"I'm going to be opposing Jeff Sessions regretfully and respectfully," the Connecticut Democrat said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I have really studied Jeff Sessions' record and reflected on his testimony. And I remain unconvinced that he will be the champion for civil rights and liberties and freedoms that we need particularly at this point in our nation's history when they are so much under threat."

"And he has given me no confidence that he's going to be the independent voice that says 'no' to the president when the president breaks the law. Speaking truth to power is a very important part of this job, especially in a perspective presidency that is fraught with conflicts of interest and controversy where an independent voice is most important, and the nation's legal conscience."

Blumenthal is not basing his decisions on allegations of racism made against Sessions, focusing instead on his voting record and policy positions.

"He has voted against the hate crimes statute, against the Violence Against Women Act. He has said that a court decision striking down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act was good news.

"And whatever the motive, and I don't really think that Jeff Sessions is a racist, he has demonstrated that he is opposed to equal justice under law," Blumenthal added. "He's willing to follow the law. But the attorney general of the United States has to be more than a follower.

"He has to be a leader when it comes to protecting and defending those fundamental rights that are increasingly under threat. And he has said that Roe V. Wade, for example, ought to be reversed. He condemned that great precedent for women's health care. And I think that it is the combination of all of these stands and positions, not before 1986, but mostly afterward."

The senator is joined in his opposition by Sen. Cory Booker and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who announced Thursday that he will not vote to confirm Sessions.

"After reviewing his record and giving careful consideration to his answers during the hearing, I am not confident in Senator Sessions' ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration," he said in a statement, according to CNN.

"I am also deeply concerned by his views on immigration, which I saw firsthand during the push for comprehensive immigration reform. For those reasons, I will oppose his nomination to serve as the next attorney general."

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal will not support President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, being "unconvinced" that he will fight for civil rights and liberties or stand up to Trump when needed.
richard blumenthal, jeff sessions, attorney general, donald trump
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2017-29-12
Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 01:29 PM
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