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Trump's A.G. Nomination Questioned by Missouri Scholars

More than 1,200 law professors have signed a letter saying President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as attorney general is a bad choice. (senate.gov)
More than 1,200 law professors have signed a letter saying President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as attorney general is a bad choice. (senate.gov)
January 6, 2017

ST. LOUIS - Hundreds of legal scholars from almost every state, including Missouri, are objecting to the president-elect's choice of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for U.S. attorney general.

More than 1,200 law professors, including Monica Eppinger at Saint Louis University School of Law, signed a letter urging Congress to reject the nomination and saying Sessions would not fairly enforce the law or promote justice and equality. The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings next week.

Eppinger said Sessions has a record of antipathy towards voting rights, including his 1985 prosecution of three civil rights activists for voter fraud in Alabama.

"He was taking the letter of the law and trying to spin it on its head and use it against the very same law," she said.

The letter also mentioned Sessions' continued opposition to policies promoting the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.

A spokesperson for Sessions said the senator has dedicated his career to upholding the rule of law, ensuring public safety and prosecuting government corruption.

Eppinger also took issue with Sessions' stance on prison sentencing.

"If somebody is convicted of a nonviolent drug offense, most Americans do not think that long-term incarceration is the correct response to that," she said, "but he is the opposite. He has called for a more mandatory minimums and longer sentences."

Professors from 176 law schools in 49 states signed the letter, which was sent Tuesday, the same day six people were arrested during an NAACP protest sit-in at Sessions' office in Alabama.

The letter is online at docs.google.com.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO