Today marks the day that confirmation hearings begin for President-Elect Trump's attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions. This is a big deal, with sitting senators Cory Booker and John Lewis testifying against him. With their testimony, it is the first time in history sitting senators will testify against another sitting senator for a Cabinet position.
This is why Jeff Sessions is so controversial and why senators are creating history to stop him from getting confirmed.
He called the Voting Rights Act a piece of "intrusive legislation".
This is a big deal. All the Voting Rights Act does is protect an American's right to vote, specifically a minority American's right to vote. In calling it "intrusive legislation", he showed that he does not believe that all Americans deserve the right to vote, especially minority Americans.
The right to vote is a constitutional right protected by the Fifteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. It's very telling that Jeff Sessions doesn't really support the Voting Act, which, in a way, turns into him not really supporting the Fifteenth Amendment of the US Constitution either.
He prosecuted civil rights activists for registering black voters.
This is another big deal. Albert Turner was a civil rights activist that, after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, became known as "Mr. Voter Registration" for all his work in helping African Americans get registered to vote.
In 1985, when Jeff Sessions was the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, he charged Turner, his wife and a fellow activist Spencer Hogue with 29 counts of mail fraud, altering absentee ballots, and conspiracy to vote more than once.
This case and Turner and Hogue are known as the Marion Three. A not guilty verdict was the outcome of this case, but the fact that Jeff Sessions willing tried to convict civil rights activists for registering voters is concerning for obvious reasons.
Voted to defund Planned Parenthood and against the "Violence Against Women Act".
As a college student, Planned Parenthood is one of the best resources for health screenings, birth control and STD testing. Jeff Sessions voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
Voting to defund Planned Parenthood isn't too controversial, as numerous politicians voted with him, however it isn't a good thing that he treats women's health with such little regard.
In another strike against women, Sessions voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which was changed to include gay men, lesbians, and undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse.
Even if Sessions disagreed with the LGBT and immigrant inclusion included in this bill, the entire bill is to protect domestic abuse victims, which Sessions voted against.
He doesn't think Stop-and-Frisk is racist.
Stop and frisk was controversial because of the disproportionate number of blacks and latinos being targeted - 87 percent of stop and frisk targets were blacks or latinos. A federal judge acknowledged that when she ruled it unconstitutional in 2013.
Jeff Sessions - along with Donald Trump - still believes that stop and frisk is not unconstitutional, that it is in fact constitutional. This is troubling because stop and frisk was racial profiling. It targeted blacks and latinos considerably more than whites.
It doesn't bode well when the nominee for attorney general stands and supports a racist procedure that was ruled unconstitutional.
Jeff Sessions is a very controversial pick for Trump's attorney general. His record, his views, and his standings are very conservative and troubling for the whole of America. The fact that sitting senators will create history in order to testify against him speaks volumes.
And all of this culminates into why Jeff Sessions isn't the best pick for attorney general and why it is so controversial that he is.