Civil rights activists staged several protests on Tuesday against the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) as the next attorney general.
At Sessions' office in Mobile, Cornell Williams Brooks, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and several other NAACP leaders staged a sit-in, with Brooks announcing on Twitter they were staying "until he withdraws as AG nominee or we're arrested." At about 7:30 p.m. ET, Brooks tweeted that "the building manager has requested that we leave. And the police have just arrived. We are about to be arrested."
In 1986, as a federal prosecutor, Sessions became the second nominee in 50 years to be denied confirmation as a federal judge; Sessions was accused of making racist remarks, and he claimed he was only joking when he said he "used to think they [the KKK] were okay" until he discovered some were "pot smokers." Sessions denied making any racist comments, and said the actions of the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union could be considered "un-American."
The conservative Sessions was one of the first people to endorse Donald Trump, and his spokeswoman said in a statement that Sessions "has dedicated his career to upholding the rule of law, ensuring public safety, and prosecuting government corruption." Tuesday was an especially rough day for Sessions — in addition to the NAACP protests, more than 1,100 law professors from schools in 48 states signed a letter urging the Senate not to confirm him when hearings start on Jan. 10.
UPDATE: The NAACP tweeted Tuesday night that Brooks and NAACP National Youth and College Director Stephen A. Green have been arrested.