The ACLU Responds to the Potential Nominations of Sen. Sessions for Attorney General and Rep. Pompeo for CIA Director

President-elect Donald Trump today has reportedly offered Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama the position of attorney general and Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas the position of  director of the Central Intelligence Agency. As a matter of organizational policy, the American Civil Liberties Union does not take a position supporting or opposing presidential or judicial nominations. We do, however, educate the American people and the Congress about nominees’ records and past positions.

Sen. Sessions has called the ACLU un-American and communist, assertions we flatly reject. His positions on LGBT rights, capital punishment, abortion rights, and presidential authority in times of war have been contested by the ACLU and other civil rights organizations. As the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, the attorney general is charged with protecting the rights of all Americans, yet Sessions has a reported history of making racist comments. In his confirmation hearings, senators, the media, and the American public should closely examine his stances on these key issues to ensure we can have confidence in his ability to uphold the Constitution and our laws on behalf of all Americans. 

Congressman Pompeo’s positions on bulk surveillance and Guantanamo Bay also raise serious civil liberties concerns about privacy and due process. These positions and others merit serious public scrutiny through a confirmation process. His positions on mass surveillance have been rejected by federal courts and have been the subject of several lawsuits filed by the ACLU, including ACLU v. Clapper.

From now until the confirmation hearings, the ACLU will continue to scrutinize the civil liberties and rights records of Trump nominees, including Sen. Sessions and Rep. Pompeo if they choose to accept the president-elect’s nomination. 


View comments (62)
Read the Terms of Use

Gabriele Drozdo...

I have read that you have joined up with Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club. There is one other organization you should definitely add: The Center for Biological Diversity. They have won an incredibly long list of environmental law suits. Thank you for your great work.

Mary Jo Austin

Gabriele Drozdo, I agree. TCBD is a good organization. And, I would like to see more interest and representation of the environment at this critical time. It is difficult to prioritize issue right now as there are so many! But, I do not want the environment to be overlooked. Thanks for your comment. I hope ACLU agrees with us too. :)


Such a worrying trend; i'm paying attention and watching with you!


I always check the ACLU site when Trump fills a cabinet seat. Looks like he nailed it again! You guys have confimed that these men are not socialists, globalists, alt-leftists, communists r gender labeling pansies. As a woman, im good!

Thanks again for soothing my fears.

Royce Earnest-R...

I couldn't help but notice you left out "racists" because Jeff Sessions is indeed a racist. Is it that you don't care because you're not of a minority race? We cannot let this racist into the AG position. I grew up under Jeff Sessions reign of racism in Alabama, the American people shouldn't have to!


Sad...just sad.


We all love satire on here, lady. Even when it's awful.


So glad to accommodate your needs or neediness. Whatever. Not our concern.



Jarom Smith

I guess the fact that you decided to remain Anonymous means that you are either a racist, bigot, working for the Russians, or you're a man ghost writing as a woman. In any case you are indeed a coward and should be disregarded.


Stay Informed