Jeff Sessions: The Facts

Document Date: December 2, 2016

As the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, the attorney general is charged with protecting the rights of all Americans. Senator Sessions’s record reveals a history of racially hostile remarks, as well as positions on LGBT rights, capital punishment, abortion rights, and presidential authority in times of war that have been contested by the ACLU and other civil rights organizations.

In his confirmation hearings, senators, the media, and the American public should closely examine his stances on key issues. The American public deserves an attorney general who can uphold the Constitution on behalf of all Americans.

The Facts

  • Author of the “Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority,” which blames immigration for the loss of high-paying jobs and high “welfare dependency” in the United States. Also called for a slowdown of legal immigration. (Source)
  • Once said of Dominican immigrants: “Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming here because they have a provable skill that would benefit us and that would indicate their likely success in our society.” (Source)
  • He criticized the Obama Administration’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which was a critical step in ensuring marriage equality for all Americans. (Source)
  • Defended President-Elect Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. (Source)
  • Referred to the Voting Rights Act, a law that simply demands that every American’s right to vote is protected, as a piece of “intrusive legislation.” (Source)
  • Supports a federal prohibition on marijuana use. (Source)
  • Once prosecuted civil rights activists for registering black voters. (Source)
  • Allegedly labeled the ACLU and NAACP “un-American” groups who “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” (Source)
  • Argued that stop-and-frisk programs are Constitutional, saying that “it’s all about how that is done.” (Source)


  • Supports a national 20-week abortion ban (Source), and has a 100% voting record from the National Right to Life Committee. (Source)
  • Voted to defund Planned Parenthood (Source) and called for the Justice Department (which he is being nominated to lead) to investigate PPFA (Source).
  • Was one of only 21 senators to oppose the McCain-Feinstein amendment on torture, which explicitly bans the CIA from using torture. (Source)
  • Leading opponent of bipartisan efforts in 2007 and 2013 to pass immigration reform bills. (Source)
  • Voted to reauthorize and expand provisions of the Patriot Act. (Source)
  • Voted against the Violence Against Women Act. (Source)
  • Opposed USA Freedom Act and other surveillance reform measures. (Source)

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