Faith Leaders to Senate: Sessions Confirmation Would be a Mockery of the Very Institution Created to Address Injustice

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January 9, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 9, 2017                      

CONTACT: Jennifer R. Farmer, 202-306-0136; 


Faith Leaders to Senate: ‘Sessions’ Confirmation Would be a Mockery of the Very Institution Created to Address Injustice’

Largest faith-based network calls on senators to vote against confirmation of Sen. Sessions

WASHINGTON – Ahead of the confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions, PICO National Network, the nation’s largest network of faith-based groups, called on the Senate to reject his nomination as the next Attorney General of the United States. Citing Sessions’ record of discrimination, faith leaders within the Network declared that Sessions, should he be confirmed, would be a mockery of the very institution created to address injustice.

"Our sacred texts call us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves,” said Denise Collazo, chief of staff for PICO National Network. “Time and again, as a U.S. Attorney, Attorney General of Alabama and U.S. Senator -- Senator Jeff Sessions has chosen not to show love to his neighbors. The Justice Department is an American institution designed to make sure that we treat one another as we should.  The senate should not disregard concerns about Senator Sessions.  It is their responsibility to make sure the Justice Department focuses on liberty and justice for all."  

It would be a travesty to the progress that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders made for African Americans and people of color to have Jeff Sessions confirmed as the United States Attorney General,” said the Rev. Dr. Wayne M. Weathers, pastor of the Vision of Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

“The Department of Justice’s commitment to increasing public safety by removing barriers to successful reentry serves the best interest of the United States,” said Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. “This commitment brought about policies such as “Ban the Box” that would increase the chances of successful reentry. Any threat this commitment should be met with a strong and unified opposition. Jeff Sessions’ track record warrants such strong opposition.”

“Historically the Attorney General -- regardless of the party in office -- has been the defender of marginalized communities,” said Cean James, pastor of the Grace Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ in Philadelphia. “If Sessions’ continues with his legacy of opposing civil rights, it will be difficult for people – particularly African American communities who’ve had longstanding concerns about voting rights -- to see how he will effectively fulfill the duties of attorney general. Further, with increased concern about voter suppression and policing, the Attorney General and the Justice Department have been places where people have looked for protection. With Sessions at the helm, it would be difficult for many communities to see the Justice Department as the place to go to for fair protection.”

“Senator Sessions has a history of discriminating against marginalized communities,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director for PICO National Network. “He's unfit to lead a department whose sole mission is to ensure justice. While we, as people of faith, believe in the power of redemption, there is no evidence Senator Sessions has been redeemed. Every senator who cares about America should vote against his confirmation as the next attorney general. Senator Sherrod Brown should not stand alone in his dissent of Sessions’ atrocious record.”



PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 45 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at

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