In 1986, when Jeff Sessions was nominated for US district judge for the Southern District of Alabama, Coretta Scott King wrote a strong objection to his nomination, addressed to Congress.
On behalf of herself and her late husband, the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she asked that Sessions be denied a federal judgeship, citing his record as a US attorney in west Alabama, where he prosecuted three civil rights advocates, accusing them of voter fraud in a case that has become notorious. King said that Sessions’ appointment to the bench would “irreparably damage the work of my husband, Al Turner, and countless others who risked their lives and freedom over the past twenty years to ensure equal participation in our democratic system.”
“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters,” King wrote. “For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.”
Now, as president-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet pick for attorney general, Sessions faces renewed opposition from civil rights groups.