Jeff Sessions
US Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama talks to the media at the Trump Tower in New York Jewel Samad/ AFP

Law professors from across the US are asking the Senate to reject President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and have raised $14,173 (£11,531) to run their campaign in a series of newspaper ads.

"All of us believe it is unacceptable for someone with Senator Sessions' record to lead the Department of Justice," said a letter opposing Sessions' confirmation signed by 1,226 faculty members from 176 different law schools in nearly all 50 states.

The letter has been sent to Republican Senator Charles Grassley and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein who head the the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The two will lead Sessions' confirmation hearing expected on January 10 and 11.

The letter expresses concern for a number of stances Sessions has taken throughout his 40 year career. These include, among others, his prosecution of three civil rights activists for helping black people to vote, "his consistent promotion of the myth of voter-impersonation fraud", support for drug policies that have "fuelled" mass incarceration, his climate denial, and his opposition to laws protecting women and the LGBTQ community.

The group hopes to raise $16,000 to run its letter "in the hometown newspapers of specific senators who are undecided about their vote regarding Sessions' nomination," it said.

Sessions was the US Attorney for the Alabama's Southern District from 1981 to 1993 and became the state's Attorney General in 1994. In 1986, Sessions, who was working as a US prosecutor in Alabama, was picked by President Ronald Reagan to become a federal judge, but was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee because of racist comments he made.

In early December 2016 Feinstein wrote to Grassley asking for a delay in Sessions' confirmation hearing to allow for more time to review more than 150,000 pages of documents — including speeches, talks, and cases he has handled. The amount is "many times more than previous nominees," she said on Twitter and "we need time for a thorough review".

In 2013, Sessions questioned why the National Endowment for the Humanities was spending public money to put 900 books educating people about Islam into libraries across the US. He also questioned books on tackling topics such as What is the meaning of life?, Why are we interested in the past? and Why are bad people bad?

According to the New York Times, he's previously described civil rights groups as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired". He also said the Ku Klux Klan was fine "until I found out they smoke pot." He later said it was a joke.

His appointment is "a tragedy for American politics", according to Heidi Beirich, director of Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups across the US.