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Setting The Record Straight: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Responds To AG Sessions’ Statement Marking MLK Day

Justice Department Under Sessions Has Rolled Back Core Civil Rights Protections.

WASHINGTON - The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law responded Tuesday to remarks made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His remarks comes less than one month after he revoked 25 critical legal guidance documents, particularly those concerning civil rights matters.  Nearly one year at the helm of the Justice Department, Sessions has reversed the Department’s position in key voting rights litigation, stalled work to address unconstitutional policing practices and taken steps to promote a discriminatory and ideological agenda.

Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:

“The Attorney General’s remarks are fully at odds with the action he has taken to obstruct and reverse civil rights enforcement over the course of the past year.  Segregated schools, voter suppression, and police departments that do not reflect the diversity of the communities they serve are all problems we are still wrestling with in parts of the country today.  Yet, Sessions has done little to nothing to actively enforce the federal civil Rights laws that Dr. King fought for.  While Attorney General Sessions talks about Dr. King’s work, he is actively reversing and undermining the legacy of that work.  Dr. King and victims of racial discrimination would have received more support and empathy from the Justice Department of his day than he would from a Sessions-led Department today.”

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The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law.

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