Another unexpected move from Sessions. Via Politico:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is vowing to aggressively enforce federal hate crime laws, countering concerns among civil rights groups and some of his former Senate colleagues that he might put such prosecutions on the back burner.
“I know the responsibility that we have, and we have a responsibility to protect people’s freedom, their religious rights, their integrity, their ability to express themselves, to push back against violence and hate crimes that occur in our country,” Sessions told federal prosecutors gathered for a Justice Department hate crimes summit in Washington on Thursday. “So, we’re going to do that, I will assure you, in every way.”
In his remarks, Sessions went out of his way to vow vigilant pursuit of violence against transgender victims. “We have and will continue to enforce hate crime laws aggressively and appropriately where transgendered individuals are victims,” the attorney general said.
Sessions noted approvingly of the sentencing last month of a Mississippi man to 49 years in prison for the murder of a transgender woman (a case filed during the Obama administration) — the first federal hate crimes prosecution involving the targeting of a transgender victim.
It’s worth noting that while in the Senate, Jeff Sessions voted against the Hate Crimes Act.