February 08, 2017

Kaine Speaks Against Sessions Nomination On Senate Floor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to the nomination of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General. During his remarks, Kaine shared the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia who challenged a Virginia law that barred marriages like theirs all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court’s decision ultimately invalidated laws banning interracial marriage.

“The Loving family wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy to help them battle injustice because they believed he would protect the important civil rights values at stake,” Kaine said. “This is who the Attorney General needs to be. The poor and the oppressed, those who don’t have anyone else to stand up for them, they need a justice system that will treat them fairly. And the Attorney General must embody that value.”

Kaine also discussed his concerns over Sessions’s views on immigration. He said that during his time in the Senate, Sessions has been one of the most vocal Senators in opposition to reasonable and necessary reforms to the country’s immigration system.

“As we contemplate some of the President’s outlandish and discriminatory claims about immigrants, and deal with the aftermath of his poor executive order, we have to separate the extreme and untrue from our legitimate security concerns. A good lawyer often needs to be a check against the bad instincts of his client, and in this area, I am not confident Senator Sessions can do that,” Kaine said.

Lastly, Kaine discussed his disappointment over Sessions’s support for the extreme interrogation techniques used during the Bush Administration. In 2016, Sessions voted against a bipartisan amendment in the annual Defense Bill to prohibit torture.

“I don’t think the nation should have an Attorney General with an ambiguous record about torture,” Kaine said. “This President has—very unwisely in my view—stated that he thinks torture is justifiable and effective. I believe that we need an AG who will check that instinct not support or justify it.”

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