I wrote to my senator and he wrote back. I am proud to be a citizen of the state of Connecticut.
“Dear Ms. Renzi,
Thank you for your message regarding the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be the next Attorney General of the United States. I appreciate hearing from you. After studying Senator Sessions’ record and hearing his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, I have decided to vote against his confirmation as Attorney General.
No Cabinet member is more powerful—or has more impact on the day to day lives of Americans—than the Attorney General. The Attorney General commands an army of thousands of lawyers whose words carry the weight and power of the people of the United States of America. He charges defendants in our name. He has sweeping authority to bring criminal charges in all federal offenses, ranging from minor misdemeanors to the most serious felonies. In a very real sense—as capital penalties can be sought for some of these crimes—he wields the power of life and death. He is responsible for aggressively upholding our nation’s sacred, Constitutional commitment to protecting individual rights and liberties, and preventing infringement upon them—even by the government itself.
The Attorney General’s authority is not only sweeping, but also uniquely independent in the President’s Cabinet. His decisions must supersede partisan politics. In most cases, there is no recourse to overrule his decisions, without political interference. He is not just another government lawyer or even just another member of the President’s cabinet. He is the nation’s lawyer. He must be its legal conscience. This job requires a singular level of intellect and integrity, a nonpartisan but passionate devotion to the rule of law, and an extraordinary sense of conscience.
Regrettably, Senator Sessions’ record reflects a strong opposition—indeed, an antipathy—to civil rights and voting rights, women’s health care and privacy rights, anti-discrimination measures, religious freedom safeguards, comprehensive immigration reform, and hate crime prohibitions. His views on these key issues are extreme, demonstrating a prevailing hostility to the very rights and liberties that the nation’s chief law enforcement officer must always promote and defend. Equally important, Senator Sessions’ record and testimony give me no confidence that he will be an unshakable ethical voice—ready, willing, and able to say no to the President, and to ensure that he is never above the law. He has given me no indication that he will be the independent, non-political enforcer against conflicts of interest and official self-enrichment that the nation needs, at a moment when the incoming presidential administration faces ethical and legal controversies that are unprecedented in scope and scale.
At this historic moment, there must be no doubt about the United States Attorney General’s ironclad commitment to the bedrock principle of equal justice under law and his resolve to be an independent voice assuring that the President is bound by the law. Reviewing Senator Sessions’ record, I cannot assure the people of Connecticut—or the country—that Jeff Sessions would be a champion of these rights, liberties, and foundational legal principles. I oppose his confirmation.
Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to contact me in the future with any additional questions or concerns.
Richard Blumenthal United States Senator”