- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - Democratic attorneys general from five states and the District of Columbia have sent a letter urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general.

In the letter dated Jan. 17, the prosecutors said they had “grave concern” that Sessions would “diligently and fairly enforce all laws protective of civil rights, public safety, health and welfare” as the nation’s top lawyer under president-elect Donald Trump.

The letter said Sessions made bigoted statements in the past, rejected sensible, criminal justice policy reforms, and badly managed his office during his tenure as Alabama Attorney General from 1995 to 1997.

Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman of New York, Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon, Brian Frosh of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, Doug Chin of Hawaii and Karl Racine of the District of Columbia also signed the letter.

“We join the thousands of individuals and organizations that have voiced their opposition to Senator Sessions’ appointment and respectfully urge you to reject his nomination,” the letter said.

During his confirmation hearing, Sessions fervently rejected “damnably false” accusations of past racist comments as he challenged Democratic concerns about his commitment to civil rights.

Sessions has solid support from the Senate’s Republican majority and from some Democrats in conservative-leaning states, and is expected to easily win confirmation. Democrats used the hearing last week to try to show that Sessions - and Trump’s administration - won’t be committed to civil rights, a chief priority of the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

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