There are seven aspects to civil constitutional rights. Jeff Sessions fails miserably on all of them.
Washington, DC — Jeff Sessions has been nominated to be the Attorney General of the United States.
However, history tells us he would easily be the most unconstitutional Attorney General ever.
There are seven aspects of civil constitutional rights that have been afforded by those other than white men since 1920. Here’s how we know he would violate every one of these rights.
- Civil Rights for People of Color (PoC). Civil rights for people of color include rights for African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, other ethnic minorities, and religious minorities (including Muslims). Sessions has been proven to oppose basic civil rights for Muslims born in the United States. Sessions also believes that Brown v. Board of Education should be overturned, and that will become a reality if another conservative Supreme Court judge is appointed (currently, four jurists are opposed to the decision). In fact, he has also repeatedly supported the unconstitutional infringement of the Second Amendment rights of people of color, and this is known by his support for what is known around pro-Trump circles as “tough on crime”. We at Aiken Area Progressive know codes like this one too well, as do the good people at Rewire – and you can read their commentary on this in the URL in the previous sentence.
- Women’s civil rights. Civil rights for women include the right to do sex work, receive reproductive health care, and the right to abortion without coercion or interference from anyone. No doubt on where Sessions stands here, given his voting record and his zero lifetime ratings from the six major women’s rights groups. Also, he was among the most enthusiastic when junior California Senator Kamala Harris illegally shut Backpage down on Monday. Sadly, there are a lot of legislatures that think just like him here, too (Kentucky just recently became the latest of the batch to pass unconstitutional restrictions on abortion). In fact, if Democrats lose more legislatures between now and 2018 to Sessions-like Republicans, the GOP would have enough states (38) to overturn the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, and to ratify outrageous amendments like the Human Life Amendment without the need to involve voters in the individual states who would overwhelmingly oppose and defeat such efforts.
- Disability rights. Civil rights for the disabled include rights for those with invisible disabilities, including those who have mental health disabilities. Here, too, Sessions has opposed basic civil rights for the disabled although he was not a Senator when the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1989. He was among the many GOP Senators and House Members who have repeatedly attempted to abolish Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) since they took over the House of Representatives to begin this decade. Something tells me he would also turn a blind eye to crimes against the disabled.
- LGBT rights. Civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people also include rights for asexual people, gender non-conforming people and others who do not fit the gender binary. Sessions has never voted “yea” for even the bare minimum of protections for these groups. In fact, he voted against the Matthew Shepard and Jim Byrd Act of 2009 because it would protect many groups of people he would rather have jailed simply for not being “his people”. Like with the disabled, something tells me he would set perpetrators of hate crime attacks on transgender people free and urge Trump to commute sentences of, or even pardon, bigots who attack LGBT people.
- Rights of the poor. Civil rights of the poor, which are those who are below the poverty line (currently at $24,249 USD), have been understudied. They are the ones who have bore the brunt of the GOP’s unconstitutional restrictions, such as the unconstitutional federal law prohibiting them from using any welfare benefits for strip clubs, or even buy basic necessities such as food. Sessions voted for all of that unconstitutional crap. Sessions has done absolutely nothing to help the poor while in the Senate, and as Attorney General, he will do absolutely nothing to help the poor.
- Voting Rights. Sessions wrote an amicus curiae in favor of one of his counties, Shelby, during the county’s arguments against then-Attorney General Eric Holder in late 2012/early 2013 in the US Supreme Court, which ended up with judicially activist conservative judges legislating from the bench in striking down the powerful Section IV of the Voting Rights Act. Sessions has also supported requiring state and national ID cards to vote (a violation of the Civil Rights Act), just like they did in Nazi Germany. Sessions has never wanted anyone other than white male landowners voting and has always wanted to go back to 1963.
- Public Nudity Rights. The most misunderstood aspect of civil rights, public nudity rights also include the rights for the mother and child to breastfeed in public, and the right for cisgender and transgender women to be topless in public. And Sessions has never once supported nudity rights. In fact, he has supported repeated attempts by GOP legislators and activists in various states, such as Ohio, to ban nudity and breastfeeding in public places. To date, the only thing that keeps him from banning nudity and breastfeeding is our Constitution, and for that, we are grateful.
This is a disturbing pattern of hostility towards basic constitutional rights that Sessions has repeatedly demonstrated. Under no circumstances whatsoever should he should become Attorney General of these United States.
Sessions must be stopped.