Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced Friday that he will not support Jeff Sessions to lead the Department of Justice, becoming the first Democrat to explicitly say so.
A nomination hearing for Sessions won’t be held until next week, but Brown released a statement Friday morning after he met with Sessions in a private meeting.
“The U.S. Attorney General’s job is to enforce laws that protect the rights of every American,” Brown said in the statement. “I have serious concerns that Senator Sessions’ record on civil rights is at direct odds with the task of promoting justice and equality for all, and I cannot support his nomination.”
Sessions is a controversial nominee to lead the Department of Justice. A far-right member on issues like immigration, voting rights and criminal justice, Sessions was seen just a few years ago as being on the fringe of his party as it sought to moderate on those issues and expand their base. However, during the Trump campaign, Sessions became a key player and was the first senator to endorse Trump on the campaign trail. Brown is expected to be the first of many Democratic lawmakers to oppose Sessions’ nomination.
“Now, more than ever, we need leaders who can bring Americans together to improve police-community relations, ensure that all Americans have access to the ballot, and reform our criminal justice system.”