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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida law professors join national effort to block Jeff Sessions as attorney general

4

January

More than 30 law professors in Florida have joined a national effort opposing Sen. Jeff Sessions as Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, contending racial issues make him unqualified to lead the Justice Department.

“We are 1140 faculty members from 171 different law schools in 49 states across the country. We urge you to reject the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General of the United States,” reads a letter sent to Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“In 1986, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, in a bipartisan vote, rejected President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of then-U.S. Attorney Sessions for a federal judgeship, due to statements Sessions had made that reflected prejudice against African Americans. Nothing in Senator Sessions’ public life since 1986 has convinced us that he is a different man than the 39-year-old attorney who was deemed too racially insensitive to be a federal district court judge.”

“Some of us have concerns about his misguided prosecution of three civil rights activists for voter fraud in Alabama in 1985, and his consistent promotion of the myth of voter-impersonation fraud. Some of us have concerns about his support for building a wall along our country’s southern border. Some of us have concerns about his robust support for regressive drug policies that have fueled mass incarceration. Some of us have concerns about his questioning of the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change. Some of us have concerns about his repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community. Some of us share all of these concerns.

"All of us believe it is unacceptable for someone with Senator Sessions’ record to lead the Department of Justice."

That said, the Alabama Republican is expected to make it through confirmation. A hearing is set for next week.

"Many African-American leaders who've known him for decades attest to this and have welcomed his nomination to be the next Attorney General," a Sessions spokeswoman said Tuesday after the NAACP staged a sit-in at his Alabama office. “These false portrayals of Senator Sessions will fail as tired, recycled, hyperbolic charges that have been thoroughly rebuked and discredited.”

>> A 2013 Tampa Bay Times profile of Sessions, who was then leading the charge against Marco Rubio and the Gang of 8 <<

The Florida professors:

Robert Minarcin / Florida A&M University College of Law

Cyra Akila Choudhury / Florida International University College of Law

Nancy Dowd / University of Florida Levin College of Law

Teresa Drake / University of Florida Levin College of Law

Kenneth Nunn / University of Florida Levin College of Law

Katheryn Russell-Brown / University of Florida Levin College of Law

Donna Coker / University of Miami School of Law

Caroline Mala Corbin / University of Miami School of Law

Marcy Cox / University of Miami School of Law

Zanita E. Fenton / University of Miami School of Law

Patrick Gudridge / University of Miami School of Law

Frances R. Hill / University of Miami School of Law

Osamudia R James / University of Miami School of Law

Catherine Millas Kaiman / University of Miami School of Law

Tamara Rice Lave / University of Miami School of Law

Peter D. Lederer / University of Miami School of Law

Rebecca Sharpless / University of Miami School of Law

Irwin Stotzky / University of Miami School of Law

Frank Valdes / University of Miami School of Law

Teresa J. Verges / University of Miami School of Law

Anthony V. Alfieri / University of Miami School of Law

Sergio J. Campos / University of Miami School of Law

Judith A.M. Scully / Stetson University College of Law

Michael Swygert / Stetson University College of Law

Darryl C. Wilson / Stetson University College of Law

Carliss N. Chatman / Stetson University College of Law

Marilyn Blumberg Cane / Nova Southeastern University Broad College of Law

Kathy L. Cerminara / Nova Southeastern University Broad College of Law

Nadia Ahmad / Barry University School of Law

Nancy Chi Cantalupo / Barry University School of Law

Rachel Deming / Barry University School of Law

Cathren Koehlert / Barry University School of Law

Seema Mohapatra / Barry University School of Law

Katherine Puzone / Barry University School of Law

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 1:54am]

    

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