Transcript: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s floor speech on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General – Part 8
Part 8 of 10. Partial transcript of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Massachusetts) floor speech on why the Senate should reject the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) as Attorney General on Feb. 7, 2017:
“The federal courts hold a unique position in our constitutional system, ensuring that minorities and other citizens without political power have a forum in which to vindicate their rights. Because of this unique role, it is essential that the people selected to be federal judges respect the basic tenets of our legal system: respect for individual rights and a commitment to equal justice for all.
“The integrity of the Courts, and thus the rights they protect, can only be maintained if citizens feel confident that those selected as federal judges will be able to judge with fairness others holding differing views.
“I do not believe Jefferson Sessions possesses the requisite judgment, competence, and sensitivity to the rights guaranteed by the federal civil rights laws to qualify for appointment to the federal district court.
“Based on his record, I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect on not only the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made everywhere toward fulfilling my husband’s dream that he envisioned over twenty years ago.
“I therefore urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to deny his confirmation.
“I thank you for allowing me to share my views.”
Mrs. King’s views and words ring true today. The integrity of our Justice Department depends on an Attorney General who will fight for the rights of all people.
An honest evaluation of Jeff Sessions’s record shows that he is not that person.
My concerns regarding Jeff Sessions go far beyond his disappointing record on civil rights.
Take immigration for example. The Daily Beast published an article a few weeks ago entitled “Donald Trump’s refugee ban has Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions fingerprints all over it.”
Here’s what the article says:
“To longtime Jeff Sessions observers, the chaos that unfolded in American airports on Saturday morning wasn’t a surprise at all. Rather, the refugee ban was the predictable culmination of years of advocacy from two of President Donald Trump’s most trusted advisers: White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions.
“For years, Sessions and Miller, who was the Alabama senator’s communications director before leaving to join the Trump campaign, pushed research and talking points designed to make Americans afraid of refugees.
“Press releases, email forwards, speeches on the Senate floor, Miller and Sessions used it all to make the case against Obama’s refugee program was a huge terror threat.
“The executive order Trump signed late in the day on Friday is just the logical conclusion of their work.
“I started getting press releases that Miller sent on behalf of Jeff Sessions on March 2013, shortly after I moved to D.C. to cover Congress.
“The emails went to my Gmail and kept coming over the years. Hundreds and hundreds of them. By the time he left Sessions’s office to join the Trump campaign, Miller’s press releases were legendary among Hill reporters. There were just so many of them at all hours of the day and they never stopped. Some were lengthy diatribes. Some were detailed homemade charts. Some were one liners. One was just a link to a Facebook stock page on Google Finance with the subject line: ‘Does this mean Facebook has enough money now to hire Americans?’
“‘I wanted to put together a little book of the best emails I ever sent’, Miller told Politico last June. ‘I’ve spent hours and hours of research on those.’
“Now, some of that research had serious methodological problems, according to Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute. ‘Miller’s work vastly overstates the threat of foreign terrorists to the homeland,’ Nowrasteh said. He pointed to Miller’s efforts to chronicle cases of refugees implicated in terrorist activity.