U.S. Senator Tim Scott, the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction, officially endorsed his senate colleague Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for the position of U.S. Attorney General. The South Carolina Republican said in a press release that he took it upon himself to “do his homework” on Sessions’ record both as a Senator and as a U.S. Attorney from Alabama.
After his nomination, I invited Senator Sessions to Charleston, South Carolina in December of 2016 to meet with African-American pastors, law enforcement and leaders of color. We had what both the attendees and I believe to be a very productive conversation, which gave us all a clearer picture of not only Jeff’s policy positions, but what is in his heart. I have also talked on multiple occasions with leaders from Alabama, closely reviewed both the Congressional testimony and news coverage of Senator Sessions’ hearing in 1986, and studied Jeff’s career as a whole.
While many of the allegations brought up 30 years ago were and are disputed, there are many facts that are absolutely clear. Jeff is committed to upholding the Constitution of the United States. He joined multiple desegregation lawsuits while serving as a U.S. Attorney, protecting the civil rights of students seeking equal educational opportunity. He ensured a KKK murderer received the death penalty. He voted for the first black Attorney General of the United States, and championed the effort to award Rosa Parks the Congressional Gold Medal.
And Mike Warren of the Weekly Standard reports on the significance of Scott’s endorsement:
The announcement came just hours after it was announced that New Jersey senator Cory Booker, a Democrat, would testify as a witness against Sessions’s nomination—the first such time a sitting U.S. senator will testify against another senator for an executive confirmation. Scott and Booker are the only two black senators currently serving. In 1986, Sessions (then a U.S. attorney) was nominated for a seat on a federal circuit court, after which he was accused of making racially insensitive remarks by four Justice Department colleagues. Sessions denied these accusations and that he was a racist, but his nomination failed to move forward out of the Senate Judiciary committee.
You can read Scott’s full statement here.