New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) stands with public interest organizations across the country in opposing the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General. Sessions’ record opposing civil rights and immigration, and his affiliations with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organizations, prove he is too extreme to be this country’s top lawyer and law enforcement officer. Sessions also poses a threat to persons with disabilities and their long battle for equality, justice, and independence. As just one example, Sessions believes that the laws guaranteeing an appropriate education for students with disabilities “may be the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today,” and claimed that accommodating the education needs of students with disabilities was “a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America.” Sessions’ comments are as inaccurate as they are offensive. Decades of educational research support the federal mandate of educating students with disabilities in the general education classroom to the maximum extent appropriate. Inclusion is not only beneficial for students with disabilities; it also provides social and academic advantages for all students.
The Attorney General must enforce and uphold all U.S. laws and represent all of us as the nation’s lawyer. As someone who has voted against expanding children’s health coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and expanded support for the Veterans Administration; and voted for the removal of pregnant women from health coverage and rolling back LGBT rights – the evidence shows that he does not, and will not, stand up for all of us and protect our most vulnerable communities.
NYLPI will continue its 40 years of dedication and commitment to disability rights and health justice. We urge Senators to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions who does not share these basic tenets.