SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday, alleging that Sessions rescinded six civil rights protections for minors, the impoverished, people of color, immigrants and people with disabilities, without explanation.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera alleges in the complaint that Sessions’ repeal of those civil rights documents was unlawful and that Sessions failed to provide a meaningful explanation for the repeal, which is required under the Administrative Procedure Act.
In a December 2017 press release, Sessions announced the rescission of the guidance documents and claimed the documents were “unnecessary, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.”
Sessions went on to allege that the guidance in the documents was either outdated, used to circumvent the regulatory process or improperly went beyond what is provided for in statutes and regulation.
The complaint, filed Thursday morning with the assistance of the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeks to have Sessions’ repeal voided.
The six documents provided guidance to government agencies on the American Disabilities Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and other federal laws.
The guidelines include directions to state and local governments to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring options so people with disabilities can continue to live and work within their communities.
Another one directs state and local governments to comply with the Constitution and federal law when imposing fines and fees to avoid perpetuating poverty and jailing people unnecessarily.
Read the full complaint, including details about the six civil rights guidance documents, here.
“This administration talks a good game about helping the working class, but their actions do the opposite,” Herrera said. “They’re trying to strip civil rights protections from some of our most vulnerable neighbors and keep them marginalized or mired in poverty while they’re helping out Wall Street tycoons and oil conglomerates.”
Following the rescission, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights strongly criticized the action and noted that the guidance documents that were repealed were “recent, narrowly crafted, urgently applicable.”
Upon filing the suit on Thursday, Herrera said in a statement, “More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, we should be surging forward on equality in this country, not having to fight the federal government to restore civil rights protections. At a minimum, the public is entitled to an explanation of why this was done.”
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.