The NAACP occupied the home-state office of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) with the goal of getting his name withdrawn as the attorney general nominee or getting him taken into custody.
The group demonstrated today at Sessions’ five Alabama offices: Mobile, Huntsville, Dothan, Birmingham and Montgomery.
“As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming attorney general of the United States,” NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks said in a statement.
“Senator Sessions has callously ignored the reality of voter suppression but zealously prosecuted innocent civil rights leaders on trumped-up charges of voter fraud,” Brooks said. “As an opponent of the vote, he can’t be trusted to be the chief law enforcement officer for voting rights.”
The NAACP leader tweeted a photo of a sit-in at Sessions’ Mobile office:
— Cornell Wm. Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) January 3, 2017
At about 6:45 p.m. local time police began making arrests, according to local columnist Lee Hedgepeth, who was reporting at the scene.
— Lee Hedgepeth (@ALPolitics) January 4, 2017
The building manager has requested that we leave. And the police have just arrived. We are about to be arrested. @NAACP
— Cornell Wm. Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) January 4, 2017
Last week the NAACP called upon the Senate to block Sessions’ nomination, with Brooks calling the senator “among the worst possible nominees to serve as attorney general amidst some of the worst times for civil rights in recent memory” because of “a record on voting rights that is unreliable at best and hostile at worse; a failing record on other civil rights; a record of racially offensive remarks and behavior; and dismal record on criminal justice reform issues.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled Sessions’ confirmation hearing for Jan. 10-11, “following the same timeline as the nomination of Attorney General Eric Holder.” Sessions has already returned the committee questionnaire.
At past attorney general nominee hearings, between three and nine witnesses have testified before the committee.
Statements on Sessions’ behalf have been filed by groups such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Center for Law & Justice, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
More than 1,100 law professors representing 170 law schools sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee today arguing that they believe Sessions “will not fairly enforce our nation’s laws and promote justice and equality in the United States.” The Washington Post reported that the letter will also run as a full-page newspaper ad.