Durbin: Sen. Sessions’ Record On Voting Rights Should Not Be Whitewashed

WASHINGTON—Following Senate Republicans’ move to silence the words of the late Coretta Scott King in the Senate chamber last night, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today underscored the importance of reviewing the civil rights record of President Donald Trump’s Attorney General nominee in the context of recent state efforts aimed at making it more difficult for minority communities to vote. Durbin also noted that Republicans delayed the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, a long-time Justice Department prosecutor, as Attorney General not for hours – as in Senator Sessions’ case – but for months, despite Lynch’s unquestioned qualifications.
“When we make a big issue of the position of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions on the Voting Rights Act, it's with good cause. It is historically an issue which has haunted the United States since the Civil War, when excuses after excuses were made for African-Americans seeking the right to vote and people were denied the right to vote with poll taxes, literacy tests, and ridiculous standards. To this very day when the Republican Party strategy is to diminish the African-American vote by voter suppression, is it important that we know the position of Senator Jeff Sessions on the Voting Rights Act? To me, it's one of the most important questions to be asked,” said Durbin. “I don't think it's a waste of time to have a fulsome debate in the United States Senate on something as fundamental as protecting the right of every American citizen to vote.”