the advocacy monitor

Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Ask Your Senator to Oppose the Nomination of Senator Sessions as Attorney General

President-Elect Trump recently nominated Senator Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General, a role that would put him at the head of the Department of Justice. The DOJ is central to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and enforcing laws such as the ADA, IDEA, and the Help America Vote Act. NCIL opposes this nomination due to Senator Sessions’ concerning record on opposing disability rights. Among some of our concerns:

  • As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions fought against rulings that improved educational opportunities and equality for students with disabilities. As U.S. Senator, he has criticized IDEA, which requires schools to provide special education for students with disabilities, as “hurting public education” and “the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today”. Sessions is a proponent of segregation of students with disabilities.
  • As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions “was a key figure in fighting against two landmark settlements that committed the state to community integration and independence for children and adults with disabilities”. R.C. v. Hornsby led to community-based services being placed at the head of the child welfare system. Wyatt v. Stickney established significant reforms, including transitioning individuals from institutional to community settings.
  • As U.S. Senator, Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act, which protects the voting rights of racial minorities and voters with disabilities, “an intrusive piece of legislation,” and in the last presidential election, Sessions “promoted a false narrative that President Obama had encouraged undocumented immigrants to illegally vote in the presidential election”.
  • Senator Sessions has favored criminal justice reform measures that focus on punitive measures as opposed to prevention, such as the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 1999.
  • In 2009, Senator Sessions voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, “which expanded the federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, or disability”.
  • Senator Sessions has not answered questions about gaps in his voting records in a questionnaire sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

NCIL is asking for your help in opposing Senator Sessions’ nomination. Please contact your Senators (877-959-6082). Ask them to oppose Sessions’ nomination and educate them on some of the concerning aspects of Senator Sessions’ disability rights record. Senator Sessions’ confirmation hearings are set for January 10 and 11, so it is of critical importance that we act quickly to educate Senators on Sessions’ record on disability rights and ask them to oppose his nomination.

If you have any questions, contact Sarah Blahovec, NCIL Disability Vote Organizer, at 724-309-5182 or sarah@ncil.org.

Comments

  1. Susan Morris says:

    Please vote against Senator Sessions nomination for head of the Department Of Justice!

    The DOJ is central to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and enforcing laws such as the ADA, IDEA, and the Help America Vote Act. I opposes this nomination due to Senator Sessions’ concerning record on opposing disability rights. Among some of my concerns:

    As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions fought against rulings that improved educational opportunities and equality for students with disabilities. As U.S. Senator, he has criticized IDEA, which requires schools to provide special education for students with disabilities, as “hurting public education” and “the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today”. Sessions is a proponent of segregation of students with disabilities.

    As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions “was a key figure in fighting against two landmark settlements that committed the state to community integration and independence for children and adults with disabilities”. R.C. v. Hornsby led to community-based services being placed at the head of the child welfare system. Wyatt v. Stickney established significant reforms, including transitioning individuals from institutional to community settings.

    As U.S. Senator, Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act, which protects the voting rights of racial minorities and voters with disabilities, “an intrusive piece of legislation,” and in the last presidential election, Sessions “promoted a false narrative that President Obama had encouraged undocumented immigrants to illegally vote in the presidential election”.

    Senator Sessions has favored criminal justice reform measures that focus on punitive measures as opposed to prevention, such as the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 1999.

    In 2009, Senator Sessions voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, “which expanded the federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, or disability”.

    Senator Sessions has not answered questions about gaps in his voting records in a questionnaire sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speak Your Mind

*