Jeff Sessions

Justice Department (Attorney General)

During his two decades as a senator from Alabama, Sessions has emerged as one of the chamber’s most ardent conservatives. He was the first incumbent senator to endorse Trump during the presidential primaries and he shares Trump’s fierce opposition to looser immigration laws. Confirmation is no sure thing, though. When President Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions to be a federal district court judge in 1986, the Judiciary Committee rejected his nomination. Critics have accused Sessions of “gross insensitivity” on racial issues. Justice Department lawyers said he called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union “communist-inspired” and claimed they tried to “force civil rights down the throats of people.” Sessions said his words were misrepresented.

Read the AAAS letter to Attorney General nominee, Jeff Sessions.

Why is this department important to the science community?

Forensic science is a crucial tool in the Justice Department’s work, including a comprehensive review by the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 demonstrating that there are significant gaps in the research and validation of some of the most promising techniques. The Department’s National Institute of Justice will play a crucial role in supporting research to fill these gaps and strengthen our justice system for all Americans.