Durbin Meets With U.S. Attorney General Nominee Senator Sessions

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) about his nomination to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Durbin discussed an array of key issues with Sen. Sessions, including gun violence and Department of Justice funding in the city of Chicago, comprehensive immigration reform and the future of DACA, criminal justice reform, policing and civil rights, race relations, and President-elect Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims in America.
“I have a long personal relationship with Senator Sessions and know him to be a strong advocate for his political positions. However, the job of U.S. Attorney General requires a much broader world view than his current one,” said Durbin. “My responsibility as a member of the Judiciary Committee is to fairly and thoroughly consider nominations to positions in the Department of Justice, the Attorney General of the United States being the most important. While cabinet nominees are always cautious, our exchange was frank, and I told Senator Sessions that he would be hearing about these issues again at his hearing next week.”
Video of Durbin’s remarks to press following the meeting with Sen. Sessions is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks to press following the meeting with Sen. Sessions is available here.
Durbin, in a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), joined Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to call for an objective and thorough confirmation hearing for Sen. Sessions in November 2016. Given Sen. Sessions’ extensive record on critical issues within the Committee’s jurisdiction, the senators requested testimony from outside witnesses on many issues, including: immigration; violence against women; civil rights, including LGBT protections, racial justice, and hate crimes; workers’ rights; national security and civil liberties; voting rights; criminal justice; and government conflicts of interest, transparency, and oversight.
Sessions, 70, received his B.A. from Huntingdon College in Montgomery and his J.D. from the University of Alabama. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve in the 1970’s. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney (1975-77) and an attorney in private practice (1977-81) until he was confirmed in 1981 as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, a post he held until 1993. He then returned to private practice from 1993-1995. He was elected Alabama Attorney General in 1995 and U.S. Senator in 1997.