Schumer 'Very Concerned' About Sessions on Civil Rights

But Politico notes he'll likely be confirmed as attorney general
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2016 1:34 PM CST
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., left, greets Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., right, following a Senate vote that clears the way for debate on a bill that would impose tariffs on Chinese imports as a penalty for...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's controversial pick for Attorney General, has been accused of racism—and incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has concerns. "Given some of his past statements and his staunch opposition to immigration reform, I am very concerned about what he would do with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and want to hear what he has to say," Schumer said in a statement, per Politico. The Democrat added that Sessions may be a fellow senator, but that doesn't "absolve him from answering tough questions in the confirmation process."

Still, Politico notes that Sessions will likely be confirmed as AG, since Senate Democrats have no way to block him unless some Republicans decide to vote against him. One such "potential swing vote" on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Flake, has said he will support Sessions, which Politico calls "a key pickup." Once Sessions gets past that committee, he's likely to be confirmed by the full Senate since Republicans are expected to have 52 seats and Democrats eliminated the 60-vote threshold for most nominations three years ago, meaning he can't be filibustered. But the Chicago Tribune sees a "battle" ahead since Democratic groups are mobilized against Sessions, and AL.com notes that Sessions is "not in step with mainstream Republicans" on immigration, so he could lose some votes from his own party there. (Read more Jeff Sessions stories.)

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