US civil rights icon John Lewis makes the case against Jeff Sessions by sharing his life history

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US Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis of Georgia spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the second day of confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, the junior US senator from Alabama. Also born in Alabama, Lewis helped lead the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and used his life’s career to argue against Sessions’ confirmation.

With members of the Congressional Black Caucus seated behind him, Lewis recounted the brutal march from Selma to Montgomery more than 50 years ago that eventually led to the Voting Rights Act prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

“We’ve come a distance. We made progress, but we’re not there yet. There are forces that want to take us back to another place. We don’t want to go back. We want to go forward,” he said. 

“We need someone as attorney general who’s gonna look out for all of us.”

Sessions has a controversial civil rights record, and two decades ago was denied a federal judgeship over accusations of racism.

Watch the congressman’s testimony above.