The NAACP Is Occupying Jeff Sessions’s Office Until He Withdraws His Attorney General Nomination

The Alabama senator has a long and fraught history with civil rights.

January 03, 2017

The NAACP is staging a sit-in at the offices of Senator Jeff Sessions in Mobile, Alabama, to protest the senators impending nomination as Attorney General under President-elect Donald Trump. Cornell William Brooks, president and C.E.O. of the organization, wrote on Twitter that the occupation would continue "until he withdraws as a AG nominee or we're arrested." According to Roll Call, the NAACP have planned protests at Sessions’s district offices in Huntsville, Mobile, Dothan, Birmingham, and Montgomery.

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The civil rights group have clashed with Sessions for decades. In 1985, then-U.S. attorney Sessions unsuccessfully brought election fraud charges against three black activists, a case which voting rights activists believe was an attempt to disenfranchise black voters. The fallout from the trail helped prevented Sessions's nomination as a federal judge one year later, when he was chosen by President Ronald Reagan. At the same hearing, Sessions allegedly derided the NAACP and ACLU as “un-American” and “Communist inspired” organizations that had “forced civil rights down the throats of people."

After Sessions was announced as Trump's pick for attorney general, Cornell William Brooks called the senator “among the worst possible nominees to serve amidst some of the worst possible times for civil rights in recent memory” thanks to his support for voter ID laws that target poor and minority voters, his historic battles against civil rights, and his opposition to criminal justice reform.

"Our main concern is centered around the reality of voter suppression," Birmingham NAACP head Hezekiah Johnson said outside Sessions's office in Birmingham, Alabama. "We have found no evidence of his ability, past or present, to be impartial and unbiased as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America, especially in the areas of civil rights, voting rights and equal protection under the law."

The NAACP was not immediately available for comment. In an emailed statement obtained by AL.com, a spokesperson for Sessions dismissed "the tired, recycled, hyperbolic charges that have been thoroughly rebuked and discredited."

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The NAACP Is Occupying Jeff Sessions’s Office Until He Withdraws His Attorney General Nomination