Jeff Sessions was unfit to serve as attorney general of the United States. He had lied about his civil-rights record, claiming that he’d desegregated schools in Alabama when he hadn’t, as he later admitted under oath. He and his surrogates misled the public by insisting that he had begun his political life campaigning against the segregationist Lurleen Wallace, without mentioning that her GOP opponent was also a segregationist. He exaggerated his role in the prosecution of the Ku Klux Klansmen who lynched Michael Donald. He praised the racist 1924 immigration law that targeted nonwhites, Eastern and Southern Europeans, and Jews. He was rejected for a federal judgeship for allegedly calling a black attorney a “boy” and a civil-rights attorney a “race traitor.” On every crucial question of civil rights in the past 40 years, Sessions has been on the wrong side.
He also misled the Senate, under oath, about his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, then lied about having lied. If his record opposing basic constitutional rights for marginalized groups were not disqualifying, his rank dishonesty should have been.
As attorney general, Sessions rolled back civil-rights enforcement, failing to file even a single voting-rights case in a country where the Republican Party has settled on disenfranchisement of rival constituencies as a tactic for winning elections. He failed in his duty to prevent the president from attempting to influence the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and then aided the president in presenting a patently false justification for firing former FBI Director James Comey over that investigation. In virtually every consequential way, Sessions should go down in history as one of the worst attorney generals ever to hold the office.