Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law releases report on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ first 100 days
Report sets forth evidence of rollbacks on Civil Rights enforcement
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Recently, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released a report on Friday evaluating Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ first 100 days at the helm of the Justice Department. The report is the first in a series by the Lawyers’ Committee entitled “Where Is Justice” evaluating the Department’s work—or lack thereof—on key civil rights matters.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke issued the following statement:
“The rapid downward trajectory of civil rights enforcement under United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his first 100 days in office cannot be ignored. Attorney General Sessions has shown a disregard for minority communities that rely on the Justice Department to protect their rights and enforce key civil rights laws on issues ranging from voting rights, policing reform and criminal justice. The Lawyers’ Committee will continue to press the Attorney General to do his job and enforce our nation’s federal civil rights laws and urge Congress and the public to remain vigilant in providing oversight of this important federal agency.”
Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January to speak against the nomination of Attorney General Sessions. Reflecting on the first 100 days, Congressman Richmond said:
“In his first 100 days, the Attorney General has demonstrated an indifference to the unique plight of the Black community vis-a-vis our criminal justice system and hostility to taking action to curb unconstitutional policing where it exists. This report is an important contribution to holding this Department of Justice accountable.”
In its report, the Lawyers’ Committee notes that Attorney General Sessions “has sought to reverse important progress made in recent years to bring fairness to the criminal justice system and protect the most vulnerable among us.”
In his first 100 days, Attorney General Sessions has:
- Revoked a 2016 directive aimed at phasing out the use of private prisons;
- Called for the review of all existing and pending consent decrees concerning policing reform;
- Issued a directive to prosecutors that threatens to reignite a “War on Drugs”;
- Abandoned a long-held position in a voting rights case concerning a discriminatory and restrictive photo ID law in Texas;
- Taken actions that marginalize immigrant communities; and
- Stood silent in the wake of
the spike in hate crimes across the country.
Since its creation in 1963 at theurging of President John F. Kennedy, the Lawyers’ Committee has been devoted to the recognition and enforcement of civil rights in the United States. Throughout Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ tenure, the Lawyers’ Committee will continue to ask through its work and news reports: Where Is Justice.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s report on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ first 100 days is available online. And the organization’s statement on the Sessions nomination from January 2017 is also available online.