Several civil rights leaders who opposed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation met with him on Tuesday to discuss concerns about the Trump administration’s direction on civil rights, NBC News reports.
The range of issues was broad: criminal justice reform, police brutality, voting rights, travel ban, hate crimes and the rollbacks of LGBT protections.
After the meeting, the Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of the National Action Network, said the tone of the dialogue was blunt, Politico reported.
“We were not hostile, but we showed holy indignation and we continue to be indignant about any threat to our civil rights,” Sharpton said. “Many of us opposed him. Many still do, but he has to live up to the office of the law.”
One of the major battles is over voting rights. In February, the Justice Department dropped its opposition, previously held under the Obama administration, to Texas’ strict voter-ID law. The Obama Justice Department agreed with many voting rights advocates who believe the law discriminates against minorities and the poor.
According to NBC, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill said her organization learned about the Trump administration’s reversal while she was on a plane traveling to Texas to argue the case.
Ifill expressed her disappointment to Sessions and urged him to show more courtesy going forward, NBC said.
“He was impassive,” Ifill said, describing Sessions’ reaction. “There was no change in his expression and there was no comment to acknowledge that reality.”
The other civil rights organizations that participated in the meeting included the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Urban League, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
NAACP Taking Jeff Sessions To Task On Policing, Voting Rights Protections
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