On the second day of confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions, NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks testified that Sessions was “unfit” to serve as Attorney General. “The NAACP firmly believes that Senator Sessions is unfit to serve as Attorney General,” Brooks said. The Associated Press has more:
“We take no pleasure in stating that, in the view of the NAACP, Senator Sessions’ record conclusively demonstrates that he lacks the judgment and temperament to serve effectively as Attorney General of the United States,” Brooks said, saying the senator “evinces a clear disregard, disrespect, and even disdain for the civil and human rights of racial and ethnic minorities, women, the disabled, and others who suffer from discrimination in this country. ”
Sessions on Tuesday called those accusations “damnably false.”
“It wasn’t accurate then,” Sessions said. “It isn’t accurate now.”
By most accounts, day one of Sessions’ confirmation hearing went relatively smoothly. Politico described Tuesday’s hearing as a “lovefest” in which even some Democrats expressed their respect for Sessions:
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut started out his questioning with a note of anguish.
“This experience for us is a difficult one not only because you’re a colleague, but I consider you to be a friend and someone who is well liked and respected in this body. … I know if you were sitting here you’d be pretty tough on me, maybe tougher than I’ll be on you,” Blumenthal said.
The questioning was not always milquetoast, but most of the drama came from protesters calling Sessions a racist and being wrestled out of the gallery by Capitol Police. Moments of confrontation between the questioners and the nominee were few and far between.
However the tone could shift today as Democrats plan to ramp up opposition with Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis both testifying against Sessions. Despite this, Sessions is expected to be confirmed, as Republicans seem to be united behind his nomination.
Here is Cornell Brooks’ statement on Sessions: