Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today voted against Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Feinstein yesterday spoke against Sessions’s nomination. Full remarks are available here. Excerpts from her remarks, as delivered, follow:

Russian interference in 2016 election

“How will this nominee handle an investigation and prosecution into an unprecedented and major foreign intrusion into the election of the president of the United States? Can he be independent of the White House? I do not believe he can.”

Voting rights

“If President Trump asks Attorney General Sessions to carry out his partisan, pointless investigation what will Senator Sessions do? Is the legendary civil rights division of the Justice Department going to become President Trump’s political investigator? Or will it defend and use the Voting Rights Act to protect the right to vote of millions of Americans against efforts by states to take that right away? I just don’t have confidence that Jeff Sessions will fairly apply the law in this area.”

Women’s health care

“Senator Sessions believes the case that established a woman’s right to control her own reproductive system—Roe v. Wade—is one of the quote, “worst, colossally erroneous Supreme Court decisions of all time,” end quote. In fact, weeks ago, when testifying before our committee, I asked him if this is still his view. And he said, “It is.” He even said Roe v. Wade “violated the Constitution.” [T]hat statement essentially invites states to enact more and more restrictions on women’s fundamental access to health care…Bottom line: I do not have confidence that Senator Sessions will fairly and independently safeguard the freedoms of the women of America.”


“Senator Sessions is lobbying to overturn DACA. The consequences of such a draconian and inhumane action would be devastating to thousands of people in my state, and I find it deeply disturbing that Senator Sessions would advocate for the deportation of children who have known no other country but the United States. And if he doesn’t believe these youth deserve some sort of prosecutorial discretion when it comes to deportation, how’s he going to act as our nation’s leading federal criminal prosecutor?”

Criminal justice

“The mission of a prosecutor is to do justice, not instinctively bring the maximum charge. For Senator Sessions to say that a prosecutor cannot exercise some judgment, based on the circumstances of a case, to seek a lesser charge or a lesser punishment—in my view, is just not correct.”

LGBT rights

“One thing I found striking was that in Senator Sessions’ written statement to the committee, he said the following: “I understand the demands for justice and fairness made by the LGBT community.” I have served on the Judiciary Committee for 24 years—20 of them have been alongside Senator Sessions. I cannot recall a single time when he spoke about supporting any kind of “justice and fairness” for the LGBT community, or made any kind of statement like this. And we looked and couldn’t find one in the Congressional Record either. In fact, the statement stands at odds with his record.”


“Do any of my colleagues believe that if Senator Sessions is confirmed he is going to take off the political hat and be an even-handed attorney general for all Americans who will tell this president no when it’s merited on the basis of the law and the Constitution? I just don’t believe it for a second.”