The United States Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General by a partisan vote of 52-47 this week. On Tuesday evening, Senate Republicans used a procedural maneuver to prevent Senator Elizabeth Warren from reading from the floor of the chamber a 1986 letter from Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who opposed Sessions in his bid for a federal judgeship. Mrs. King had written, “Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts.”
Nikitra Bailey, an Executive Vice President for the Center for Responsible Lending's (CRL) released the following statement:
Mrs. Coretta Scott King's words should not have been silenced on the Senate floor this week. Her historical significance to our nation is unparalleled. She was a tireless and fierce advocate for civil rights and equality, whose message of inclusivity and fairness still resonates today.
CRL is deeply concerned with Jeff Sessions’ previous voting record as a United States Senator, especially in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice reform, immigration, LGBTQ rights, and consumer protection. We hope that record is not mirrored in his new role as U.S. Attorney General.
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under the previous administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought important cases that addressed disparities in lending and evidence that lenders target African-American and Latino borrowers for higher-cost loans. It is crucial that Attorney General Sessions continue to pursue these issues and stop discriminatory lending practices that are at the root of the racial wealth gap and exacerbate wealth inequality between people of color and whites.
Attorney General Sessions served previously as a federal prosecutor and as Alabama’s Attorney General. He now serves as head of the primary law enforcement agency for our country. We hope that his leadership will carry forward the Department of Justice’s commitment in service of fairness, justice, and opportunity.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Ricardo Quinto at firstname.lastname@example.org.