President-elect Donald Trump has named Jeff Sessions as his nominee for Attorney General. Some are happy about his selection, and many others are not.
It isn’t a secret that he is not a supporter of gay marriage and thinks that Obama’s administration was not good for the country. In an article by The New York Times, they said that “Mr. Sessions has a growing list of gripes about how the Obama administration has run his old department, from its ‘breathtaking’ stance on immigration to its ‘shameful’ refusal to defend a federal ban on gay marriage.”
So, not only are people worried about alt-right Steve Bannon who will be Donald Trump’s chief strategist, they’re worried about Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General. A man who has a record of being racist, against gay marriage, against marijuana use, and a supporter of more widespread governmental surveillance.
The Times also wrote “If he is confirmed, Mr. Sessions, who is considered one of the most conservative members of the Senate, will most likely push for wholesale changes and hard-line stances on immigration, terrorism, crime, drugs and guns. Democrats fear he could wipe away progress in civil rights, changes in sentencing and police accountability.”
Jeff Sessions was once a nominee to be a federal judge and was rejected…because of racially charged comments. Having him in the position of Attorney General could spell trouble for minority communities. Not to mention Muslim-Americans, immigrants, and members of the LBGTQ+ community.
According to that article by The New York Times, “Critics charge that the controversy [of getting rejected to be a judge because of racist comments] was a harbinger of hostility toward minorities that has continued in his two decades as a senator.”
Donald Trump’s choice is certainly a controversial one, like many of his appointments thus far. The Senate Judiciary Committee will accept or reject his nomination, deciding if he will actually become Attorney General not.
Another article by Politico specified what actually may be influenced if he is approved as Attorney General. I will summarize them here. He could affect immigration, surveillance, police misconduct, voting rights, civil rights issues, antitrust enforcement, and marijuana laws.
Jeff Sessions as attorney general may mean a crackdown on immigration.
His appointment may mean federal laws requiring companies to allow law enforcement access to people’s private information. Politico said “Sessions has supported allowing law enforcement wide range to access that data, criticizing Apple in the San Bernardino case and warning against any attempts to constrain the NSA.”
It may mean a more lax approach from the DOJ to police misconduct cases (aka African Americans, Latinos, etc. who are disproportionately more discriminated against than white Americans will continue to face police brutality, profiling, and discrimination).
It may mean more ristricted access to the ballot, which affects minority communities more than anyone else.
It may mean that, as Politico said, “Sessions could roll back rules preventing schools from excluding kids who are undocumented immigrants or upholding the rights of transgender students.”
It may mean that “four years of lax antitrust enforcement could lead to reduced choices for consumers and higher prices.”
It may mean that, according to Politico, marijuana use could be prohibited again “since marijuana is still federally illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, the attorney general has the power to decide whether to enforce federal law in states that have approved medical or recreational marijuana use.” Jeff Sessions “has been a forceful opponent of marijuana legalization, including saying that ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana.'”
As you can see, if Jeff Sessions became attorney general, he could seriously affect our country. Depending on your personal beliefs, it could be a good or bad thing. All of these issues are major in our country today, and it’s a bit startling that he could have such a big influence on all of these things.
Featured image of Jeff Sessions courtesy of Politico.