New York - A Democratic House member says attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions is the right pick "if you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen".
Luis Gutiérrez says no senator has fought harder "against the hopes and aspirations" of Latinos, immigrants and people of colour.
Gutiérrez is a member of the House Judiciary Committee. While the Senate, not the House, will decide if Sessions should be confirmed, the comments by Gutiérrez suggest the process will likely be contentious.
Senator Sessions is one of the more conservative members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has said the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division should not be used as a "sword" to promote political agendas.
The Senate denied him a federal judgeship in 1986 after he was accused of making racially charged remarks while US attorney in Alabama.