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Senate minority leader announces he will vote against Sessions

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., listens to a question during a news conference on President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Washington. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that he will vote against the confirmation of Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions to be President-elect Donald Trump's attorney general.

Becoming the highest-ranking Democratic leader to speak out against Sessions, Schumer said in a statement: "I am not confident in Senator Sessions' ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration."

Focusing on civil rights, Schumer added: "I am also deeply concerned by his views on immigration, which I saw firsthand during the push for comprehensive immigration reform. For those reasons, I will oppose his nomination to serve as the next attorney general."

His full statement read:

After reviewing his record and giving careful consideration to his answers during the hearing, I am not confident in Senator Sessions’ ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration. I am also deeply concerned by his views on immigration, which I saw firsthand during the push for comprehensive immigration reform. For those reasons, I will oppose his nomination to serve as the next attorney general.

Schumer further explained his decision on Twitter, again expressing concern about Sessions' ability to protect all Americans and uphold the Constitution.

Although GOP leaders have been able to effectively refute allegations of racial bias, Democrats involved in Sessions' confirmation hearings have hammered Sessions on his alleged history of racist actions.

No Republicans are expected to vote against Sessions, and his confirmation is positioned to go through smoothly despite Democratic opposition.

(H/T: CNN)

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