Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer(D) announced Thursday that he will vote against his fellow colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions(R), to stop him from becoming the next Attorney General.
Schumer said in a statement “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.”
Schumer gave this statement following Sessions’ confirmation hearings, when Sen. Cory Booker(D) confronted Sessions on his voting record on civil rights.
He added: “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.”
Schumer also hopes that his fellow Democrats will follow in his footsteps and vote against Sessions. That would mean they would also need three Republicans to do the same.
Back in November, Sen. Elizabeth Warren(D) urged Republicans to join them in opposing Sessions. “30 years ago, a GOP Senate rejected Senator Sessions’ judicial nomination, affirming no compromise with racism; no negotiation with hate,” Warren tweeted. “Today, a new GOP Senate must decide whether self-interest & political cowardice will prevent them from once again doing what is right.”
Some Democratic Senators have already come out to speak out against Sessions.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal(D) said on Thursday, “Senator Sessions has failed to convince me that he will be a champion of constitutional rights: voting rights, women’s health care and privacy rights, and anti-discrimination protections,” he said in a statement. “Rather, he has demonstrated hostility and antipathy ― even downright opposition ― to these bedrock Constitutional principles.”
“The attorney general of the United States has a sacred obligation to enforce our laws and uphold the constitution,” Schumer said in his Thursday statement. “The law gives a voice to the voiceless, it protects the oppressed from the powerful, and it defends the rights of all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, or religion. … Every right — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the freedom to vote, or any other enshrined in our Constitution or the law — must be protected for every American.”