Jeff Sessions Heads to the Department of Justice

Joseph Klein,

Race baiters and hypocrites turn on a fellow senator — and are defeated.

Despite childish Democrat obstructionism, including a needless all night talkfest to delay the inevitable outcome, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as this nation’s next attorney general by a vote of  52-47. As with his other cabinet nominations, President Trump needs only a majority of senators to confirm, thanks to former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to change the filibuster rules. Only one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, showed courage in bucking the herd mentality of his “resistance” party and voted in favor of Sessions.

Contrast the Democrats’ irresponsible behavior with how Republicans treated Barack Obama’s nomination of Eric Holder as attorney general in 2009. Back then, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged quick action by the Senate:

“I would hope that we would have a prompt confirmation so he can restore morale and purpose throughout the Justice Department, it is important that the Justice Department have its senior leadership in place without delay. The attorney general is the top law enforcement officer in the country; he is a key member of the national security team.”

The Republicans obliged, despite serious questions regarding Holder’s role in President Clinton’s controversial pardons of Marc Rich and the Puerto Rican FALN terrorists while Holder was serving as deputy attorney general in the Clinton Department of Justice. Republicans did not put up procedural roadblocks. The Judiciary Committee voted 17-2 to confirm Holder.  The Senate as a whole then confirmed Holder by a lopsided bipartisan vote of 75 to 21.

jeff_sessionsjustice_small Jeff Sessions Heads to the Department of Justice Justice

Ironically, Senator Sessions voted in favor of Holder, saying he was sure that Holder would be “a responsible legal officer and not a politician.”

His decision to vote to confirm Holder, despite serious policy differences, demonstrated Sessions’ own bipartisanship and willingness to give the benefit of the doubt to the president’s cabinet nominees. Yet when it became Sessions’ turn to be considered for the same position as Holder’s, his fellow Democratic senators turned viciously partisan. They threw every slur at him they could think of, and used every procedural trick in the book to slow down the confirmation of a fellow senator to whom they should have shown deference.  

Democrats resorted to their usual tactic of rolling out the race card. Senator Leahy, for example, stated last month that “Sen. Sessions has repeatedly stood in the way of efforts to promote and protect Americans’ civil rights.” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts took to the Senate floor Tuesday evening to quote from a decades-old letter attacking Sessions, in blatant violation of a Senate rule against impugning the character of a fellow senator on the floor of the Senate. Following rebuke of her for violating the Senate floor rule, she tweeted, “I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system.” 

Mr. Sessions in fact filed multiple desegregation lawsuits as U.S. attorney and filed charges against a state leader of the Ku Klux Klan in a capital case, which he followed through on when he became the state attorney general. As mentioned above, he voted for Eric Holder, the nation’s first African-American attorney general. Back in 2009, during Holder’s confirmation hearing, Senator Leahy had nothing but high praise for the man he has now turned against. “Sen. Sessions is here: of course, Sen. Sessions is also a former U.S. attorney and knows what one goes through in that regard,” Senator Leahy said back then, “and we’ve relied on him for that experience. And, Sen. Sessions, it’s over to you.”  Senator Sessions responded, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, congratulations, Mr. Holder, on the nomination.”

Slander is the “resistance” party’s weapon of choice in opposing cabinet nominees who have a different vision for the country than their own. 

Democrats have also accused Jeff Sessions of being too close to President Trump, and presumably not willing to stand up to him when necessary to enforce the law. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, charged that “Sen. Sessions views this appointment as an opportunity to participate in a movement to advance the president’s agenda. This is not the role of the attorney general of the United States.” Funny how Senator Feinstein chose to look the other way while Eric Holder and his successor Loretta Lynch used the Department of Justice to advance Obama’s leftwing agenda, which included skirting the existing laws on immigration and undermining religious liberty. 

There is nothing in Jeff Sessions’ long record of public service to indicate any lack of fidelity to the law. Indeed, it is partly because Sessions has stressed so often the need to enforce existing laws on the books, such as the nation’s immigration laws, that Democrats have ranted against him. 

Most galling to the secular left who tried unsuccessfully to sabotage Sessions’ confirmation is his affirmation of religious faith that guides his core beliefs. They may want to look back at what the father of our country, President George Washington, said in his farewell address: “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”