Cong. Lewis: Sessions Frequently “On the Wrong Side of History”

John Lewis testified against Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General on Wednesday.

Much of what Cong. Lewis said is in line with his previous messages but Lewis highlighted Sessions’ work prosecuting civil rights “icons” and celebration of the Voting Rights Act losing much of its teeth. The spirit and tone of Lewis’ testimony called to mind Faulkner’s quote: “in the South the past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Lewis said:

Many want to gamble with the question, “Where does Senator Sessions stand?” As a fellow Southerner, I have no doubt that Senator Sessions is polite to all he meets. My concern is not about how nice he is; it is about what is in his heart and soul. Will he open up the political process?

…Or will the Senator encourage a continued and full assault on the remnants the Voting Rights Act as he did in the aftermath of the Shelby County v. Holder decision? Will he oppose common-sense, bipartisan, legislative responses to fix what the Supreme Court broke?

…Let me be crystal clear. If we are to govern this nation justly, we must protect progress at every turn, not elevate those who question the necessity of progress itself.

…When faced with a challenge, Senator Sessions has frequently chosen to stand on the wrong side of history. As the entire world watches, I ask the Members of this Committee to look deep within and ask whether we can take that chance with the highest law enforcement official in our country.

The full video of Lewis’ testimony is below.


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