Coretta Scott King Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee

Opposing Jefferson Sessions for the Federal Bench

coretta scott king

coretta scott king letterThis 1986 Coretta Scott King letter to Senator Strom Thurmond, then Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accompanied her strong objection to the nomination of Jeff Sessions for the federal bench.

Mrs. King evoked the memory of her husband and the long struggle of black people for equality in America. She cast Sessions as an enemy of equality who lacked the requisite fairness and good judgment to be considered for the post.

In addition to this letter she submitted written testimony in the form of a statement to be added to the record of deliberations.


Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.

Full Text of the Coretta Scott King Letter Opposing Jeff Sessions for Federal Bench

March 19, 1986

The Honorable Strom Thurmond, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate

Re: Nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions
U.S. Judge, Southern District of
Alabama Hearing, March 13, 1986

Dear Senator Thurmond:

I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. my professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts.

Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship. I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However, I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions’ confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this letter be made a part of the hearing record.

I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Sessions.

Coretta Scott King

cc: The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
United States Senate
308 Senate Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

See the complete statement of Coretta Scott King.

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