Attorney General Jeff Sessions ignored the advice of seasoned lawyers when implementing his anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT agenda, leaving the administration vulnerable to losses in court, according to a Friday report from The New York Times. In one instance, Sessions repudiated a career lawyer’s brief which stated that he could find no legal grounds for barring sanctuary laws for undocumented immigrants. Sources told the Times that Sessions restated his position as an immigration hard-liner, and asked the lawyer to reach a different conclusion. That lawyer resigned months later. And while Sessions eventually filed a lawsuit, a federal judge dismissed the vast majority of the case.
In another striking example, Sessions ignored all of his legal experts when attempting to strip transgender rights under the Civil Rights Act. His actions, the Times notes, aren’t illegal—Sessions is free to act with or without the counsel of his legal team. But his decisions have had an obvious impact on staffers’ morale. “Since I’ve been a lawyer, going back to the late 1970s, I can’t recall a time when morale has been as low as I have heard from some former colleagues,” Robert Litt, a former Justice Department official during the Clinton administration, told the Times.