“Americans deserve better”: Khizr Khan’s powerful letter about Jeff Sessions

“As a grateful patriot citizen I must voice my concerns.”
“As a grateful patriot citizen I must voice my concerns.”
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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Khizr Khan, the gold star father who played a prominent role in criticizing Donald Trump during the US presidential campaign during the Democratic National Convention and then in an emotional commercial, hasn’t given up. Khan believes Trump’s choice of Jeff Sessions as attorney general is un-American, he wrote in a powerful letter to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a day ahead of Sessions’ confirmation hearing on Jan. 10.

Sessions’ moves against the national Voting Rights Act and support of special treatment of immigrants based on their religion means he shouldn’t be confirmed, Khan writes. “As a grateful patriot citizen I must voice my concerns, timely and loudly, on behalf of our beloved nation that the Civil Rights progress we have made thus far is threatened by this nominee for the office of the chief law enforcement officer of our nation,” he writes.

Sessions supported states that limited some citizen’s right to vote, he writes. “There is no constitutional principle or American value that is strengthened by making it harder for some Americans, especially those who are already disadvantaged, to exercise their right to vote.”

“People around the world look to our Constitution with envy, they are inspired by its promise of equal protection of the law to everyone–not just people from powerful families, or a favored ethnic group or religious community.” Khan calls this “a principle that, like the Constitution, is bigger than politics and partisanship,” exhorting the commission to go beyond political allegiance in halting Sessions’ nomination.

“Thirty years ago, a bipartisan group of senators rejected Mr. Sessions’ nomination to be a federal judge,” Khan recalls. “His record since then does not give us any reason to believe that those senators were in error.”

“The most minimal standard for leading the Department of Justice must be a demonstrated commitment to pursuing justice for all Americans,” concludes Khan. “Mr. Sessions fails to meet that standard. Americans deserve better.”