Press Release  | 11/22/2016

Press Teleconference: What Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General Would Mean for Criminal Justice Reform, Drug Policy Reform, and Civil and Human Rights

Representatives from Spectrum of Organizations Express Strong Concerns About Attorney General Nominee

Listen to the teleconference.

On Friday, news reports named Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Attorney General. The Drug Policy Alliance is convening this call with reporters to highlight Jeff Sessions’ track record on civil and human rights, criminal justice reform and drug policy. Representatives from invited organizations will highlight how an Attorney General Sessions threatens to expand mass criminalization and drug war policies that will put communities at risk and intensify the marginalization and stigmatization of Muslims, immigrants and others, and should not be entrusted with the enforcement of our nation's civil rights laws. He was rejected for a federal judgeship in 1986 when the Senate Judiciary Committee was confronted by Sessions’ extensive history of racist comments and incidents. As just one example, Sessions is on record saying that the Ku Klux Klan was, “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions has been the chief opponent of recent bipartisan efforts to reduce sentences for drug offenses and has a track record of opposition to marijuana reform.  He is likely to use his power as Attorney General to accelerate federal prosecutions for drug law violations that carry draconian mandatory sentences and close down state-legal marijuana and medical marijuana programs. A Senate confirmation of Sessions would also position Sessions as a powerful foe of bipartisan criminal justice and sentencing reform efforts in Congress. Sessions has also pushed for the expanded use of the criminal justice system to disproportionately target minority groups and deport noncitizens. Sessions is likely to expand the use of surveillance and policing against immigrant and marginalized communities.

The Drug Policy Alliance is fighting to put the brakes on Sessions’ AG nomination and will hold a national teleconference tomorrow Tuesday, November 22 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT

What: Teleconference: What Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General Would Mean for Criminal Justice Reform, Drug Policy Reform and Civil and Human Rights

When:  Tuesday, November 22, 1 p.m. ET

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Blanks, Managing Editor, PoliceMisconduct.net, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute
  • Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Todd A. Cox, Director of Policy, NAACP-LDF
  • Robert McCaw, Director of Government Affairs Department, Council on American Islamic Relations
  • Bill Piper, Senior Director, Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance (Moderator)
  • Rev. Susan Smith, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Contact:

Tony Newman, 646-335-5384, tnewman@drugpolicy.org
Bill Piper, 202-683-2985, bpiper@drugpolicy.org

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