On Senator Sessions’ Nomination

I will not vote in favor of Senator Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General. While Senator Sessions and I have worked well together on the Judiciary Committee, his record and views on critical issues of justice including the Violence Against Women Act, immigration, voting rights, and freedom of the press have led me to conclude that I cannot support his nomination.

As a prosecutor and a senator, one of my main criminal justice priorities has been enforcing and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, a bill with deep roots in Minnesota, seeds planted by former Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife Sheila. The 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act was supported by the vast majority of senators as well as every Democratic and Republican woman senator, not to mention men and women across the country. Senator Sessions voted against it.

Another major priority of mine has been passing comprehensive immigration reform. It is the right thing to do, and it is the smart thing to do for our economy and our nation. Here again, there is bipartisan support. In 2013, the bipartisan reform bill passed the U.S. Senate with 68 votes. Senator Sessions voted against the bill and has been an ardent opponent of comprehensive immigration reform.

This is not personal. I have worked positively and successfully with Senator Sessions on issues like adoption and human trafficking. And if Senator Sessions is in fact confirmed, I will do all I can to work with him on behalf of the people of my state. At the same time, I will continue to take very seriously my position on the Judiciary Committee as one of oversight and a check and balance.

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