A protester is removed as he disrupts the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Atty. Gen.-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as he testifies on Jan. 10, 2017, on Capitol Hill. In the first morning of two days of grilling over his record, President-elect Donald Trump's Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions' fielding of questions on several of his most controversial votes and statements has done little to assuage criticism or fears from civil rights groups that have launched widespread campaigns against his confirmation.Sessions, whose confirmation hearing was interrupted several times by protesters -- including those shouting "Sessions is a racist" and "black lives matter!" and donned Ku Klux Klan-like robes -- was asked Tuesday about his views on immigration, police misconduct, voting rights, racism, and LGBT rights, among other issues.On social media, groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American Islamic Relations responded to Sessions' remarks, contending he's unfit to be the nation's top law enforcer."You don't have the right to question people about their beliefs @SenatorSessions the AG duty is to defend religious freedom," tweeted the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee after Sessions responded to question about Muslim immigration.Sessions, who was asked about Trump's campaign promise of a "complete" ban on Muslim immigration -- a proposal that later morphed into an "extreme vetting" of people from "terror-prone regions" --- said that he didn't believe Muslims should be banned from entering the country. But he added that religious views should be considered."Many people do have religious views that are inimical to the public safety of the United States," Sessions, who also praised Muslim Americans in general. Sessions vowed to uphold the "freedom and equality this country has to provide to every citizen."The ACLU shot back."Sessions has referred to Islam as a 'toxic ideology' and a 'threat' in supporting Trump's proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants," it tweeted. The quotes referred to remarks the senator, one of Trump's earliest and most ardent high-profile supporters, made last year after Trump's proposal.&ldquo;We have no duty to morally or legally admit people. We need to use common sense with the who-what-where of the threat. It is the toxic ideology of Islam," Sessions said at the time.The ACLU, which has released a scorecard of where it stands on civil rights issues compared to Sessions -- nearly always on the opposite side -- also offered rare praise for the senator after Sen. Jeff Flake (R--Arizona) spoke about Sessions views of prison issues.Glad Sessions sees importance of PREA. It protects ALL prisoners, including trans prisoners. Know your rights https://t.co/z0XRJ5ggOZ&mdash; ACLU (@ACLU) January 10, 2017 Flake cited the Prison Rape Elimination Act, bipartisan legislation to protect prisoners from abuse that Sessions supported. In earlier remarks, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also nodded to Sessions' support of the act.