“Sen. Sessions as AG is deeply troubling, and supports an old, ugly history where Civil Rights were not regarded as core American values,” the group tweeted Friday morning, not long after the Trump transition team confirmed the Sessions selection.
Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship in 1986 but was not confirmed after attention turned to racist comments Sessions allegedly made and a poor record on civil rights as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. He also reportedly called the NAACP “communist-inspired” and “un-American,” according to the Associated Press.
"Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era, which I know both black and white Americans thought was in our past," Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) said at the time. "It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. attorney, let alone a U.S. federal judge."
During the 1986 hearing, former assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Figures said Sessions had called him “boy” and told him to be careful about what he said around “white folks.”
Figures also said that Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana."
Sessions called his comment about the Klan “a silly comment, I guess you might say, that I made.”