Saturday, February 25, 2017

Don't expect Jeff Sessions to oppose violence against women—because he won't

By Kelly Macias
Wednesday Feb 22, 2017 · 5:25 PM EST

Here we go with Jeff Sessions. Again. As if everything we know about him isn’t horrific enough for us to want to set the entire Department of Justice on fire and start again from scratch.

But now that he officially has the job of attorney general, victims advocates are rightly concerned about some of his hardline views (and, of course, his rabid racism and misogyny); specifically because America’s newest Top Cop is now in charge of enforcing the Violence Against Women Act (also known as VAWA).

Ol’ Jeff doesn’t exactly have a good record of supporting women’s rights when they are expanded beyond basic protections. As a senator in 2000 and again in 2005, he voted for VAWA which passed unanimously both times. But in 2012, it was a different story. Here’s why:

But when the law came up for review in 2012, it contained several significant additions: an increase in the number of visas available to battered immigrant women fleeing their abusers, new nondiscrimination protections for LGBT survivors of violence, and a provision granting tribal courts the authority to prosecute non-Native Americans who abused Native women on tribal land.

Senate Republicans argued that the new provisions were too broad and would invite abuse of VAWA funding. Sessions accused Democrats of including them to turn the reauthorization into a political battle. "There are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition," he told the New York Times in 2012.

What exactly was it about this that invited opposition for Jeff and the Senate Republicans? Are they so obsessed with their retrograde views on immigration, LGBT equality and civil rights that they really signed off on women being abused? Just when you thought it was impossible for them to get any worse—they go and prove once again that they are truly despicable human beings.

We also know that Jeff isn’t likely to do anything to help minorities since, in the past, he has voted against legislation to protect the very same groups covered in VAWA.

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