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Opinion: Jeff Sessions’ Other Civil Rights Problem

Jeff Sessions became attorney general four decades after the Supreme Court struck down segregated schools in its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. In the intervening years, racial segregation diminished somewhat, but separate and unequal continued in another form. In 1956, as a way to sidestep Brown, Alabama voters amended the state Constitution to deprive students of a right to public education. Public support for school funding collapsed in its aftermath.

Alabama’s public schools, still underfunded, still separate and unequal, ranked near the bottom nationally, stand as one of Jeff Sessions’ most enduring legacies. It’s a troubling mark on the record of the man who is to be nominated to oversee the Department of Justice, the federal agency responsible for upholding America’s civil rights laws.