Birmingham NAACP protests Senator Jeff Sessions as potential U.S. Attorney General

Updated: Jan. 3, 2017 at 1:35 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Senate confirmation hearings for the President-elect's cabinet picks start next week. But right now, some people are protesting the potential confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.

Metro Birmingham's NAACP Chapter was just one of five chapters holding press conferences to let their opposition be heard on the choice of Sessions.

At the heart of their concerns, the NAACP believes Sessions might not make protecting voting rights a high priority.

NAACP leaders say that while they realize Donald Trump can choose the cabinet members he wants, they want those choices held accountable.

"We live in a democracy and we have elected political leaders. Donald Trump was elected as the President of the U.S.A. and he has the right to appoint the person he wishes to be considered. But, we are still all Americans and we should be factored into that dialogue for the final deliberations," said Hezekiah Jackson, president of the Birmingham NAACP.

On Tuesday, WBRC FOX6 News mentioned incorrectly that Rep. Terri Sewell supported Sessions' nomination. However, we misinterpreted her statement from November when she said, "I hope to work productively with him in his new position."

Here is Sewell's complete statement from November 2016 regarding the nomination of Sessions:

Senator Jeff Sessions has been given a tremendous honor and responsibility by the President-Elect to serve as the head of the Department of Justice. As a colleague and member of the Alabama delegation, I hope to work productively with him in his new position. At the same time, the Senator knows I will continue to be a fierce advocate on issues that are the cornerstone of our democracy. These issues include civil rights, immigration, voting rights, criminal justice reform, and the appointment of judicial nominees that are fair, impartial, and reflective of America's diversity of thought and experiences.

While we do not agree on many important social justice issues, Senator Sessions and I have enjoyed a productive working relationship on economic development issues that have benefited my constituents and our state.  I am also appreciative that he was the Senate sponsor of the Foot Soldiers Congressional Gold Medal Bill that paid tribute to those who sacrificed for the equal right to vote in this country.  Over the past six years in my personal interactions with Senator Sessions, I have known him as someone who is willing to hear dissenting views. It will be imperative now more than ever that he weigh all sides of the crucial issues and make reasoned decisions that will benefit all Americans.

As the Representative of Alabama's 7th Congressional district, I share the serious concerns raised by the national civil rights community, and I stand with my constituents in holding Senator Sessions accountable for protecting the precious civil and human rights of all Americans in his new role as the nation's top law enforcer.

We made a mistake and apologize. We're happy to set the record straight.

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