Don't let Jeff Sessions put politics before our civil rights

Last month, a group including what Slate called “the biggest names in voter suppression” wrote an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that could have disastrous consequences for our voting and civil rights.

Responding to a wave of voter suppression laws passed after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has taken an active role in rooting out and opposing laws meant to keep eligible people from voting based on race or other factors.

This open letter wanted to change that -- urging Attorney General Sessions to shift the Civil Rights Division’s priorities away from fighting voting discrimination, and to hire people who shared that mission.

That’s hiring discrimination plain and simple -- federal law prohibits the government from making hiring decisions based on political affiliation. And politicizing the hiring process like this would be a massive step backwards for the Division, which ought to be free to pursue its mission without political interference. We should be hiring the best people to protect our civil rights and make decisions on merit -- not political affiliation.

This letter echoes a shameful chapter in the Department of Justice’s history, which some signatories to the letter, like Hans von Spakovsky, were a part of. In the mid-2000s, the Bush Administration deliberately favored conservatives over other candidates when staffing the Civil Rights Division, leading to a rightward shift overall in the Division’s crucial work.

If Sessions follows through on these right wing ideologues’ requests, he’ll undermine the Division’s ability to carry out its important mission and the nation’s confidence in the even-handed application of the laws. We can’t allow that to happen -- add your name today.

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PETITION: Jeff Sessions must put our voting rights first -- and to hire the best people for the job to do it.

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Don't let Jeff Sessions put politics before our civil rights

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