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Charlottesville Poses New Civil Rights Test for Sessions


FILE - Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits to make a statement at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Washington, March 6, 2017.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a tough new test of his commitment to protecting civil rights as he oversees the Justice Department's investigation of the Charlottesville violence.

The former Alabama senator has denounced racism and bigotry, and he's called the driver's actions at the neo-Nazi rally an "evil" act of domestic terrorism worthy of a federal civil rights investigation.

Civil rights advocates say they're keeping close watch because Sessions' history has them concerned — including his changes to how the department enforces civil rights law.

Experts says Sessions faces legal limitations in deciding whether to bring hate crimes charges against the driver. Sessions may decide that the state murder charges already leveled against the man behind wheel are sufficient for justice.

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