Former DOJ Civil Rights Head: Jeff Sessions Is Implementing an Anti-Civil Rights Agenda

It’s been six months since Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sworn in as head of the Department of Justice. In that time, Sessions has managed to undo nearly every aspect of Obama’s civil rights legacy. We look at how Sessions is using the Justice Department to roll back decades of progress on civil rights, voting rights, LGBT rights and police reform. We speak with Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She is the former head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Wednesday marked six months since Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sworn in as head of the Department of Justice. In the last half-year, Sessions has wasted no time undoing nearly every aspect of Obama’s civil rights legacy, from voting rights to affirmative action to police reform and LGBT rights. Under Sessions, the Justice Department has reinstituted the use of private prisons, reignited the so-called war on drugs and indicated it will no longer address systemic police abuses. The department has also obstructed the enforcement of federal voting rights laws and, just this week, sided with Ohio’s voter purge program. And it has defended President Trump’s Muslim travel ban and supported Trump’s attacks on sanctuary cities. Most recently, The New York Times reported the Justice Department is now laying the groundwork to undermine affirmative action policies.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the Department of Justice, we go to Washington, D.C., to spend the rest of the hour with Vanita Gupta. She was head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice in the Obama administration. She joined the Obama administration’s Justice Department in 2014, just over two months after Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. As the head of the Civil Rights Division, she led the probe of the Ferguson Police Department. Under her leadership, the Civil Rights Division went on to negotiate 24 agreements with law…

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