UPDATE: Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver says “hell no” to Sen. Jeff Sessions:
“As the president’s top advisor on matters of law and justice, the man or woman in this position must possess a firm commitment to civil rights,” DeGette said. “However, Senator Sessions’ regressive record on immigration, LGBT equality and civil liberties, along with his shocking comments on the NAACP and the KKK, make him unequivocally unfit to serve in this role. I urge President-elect Trump not to make this nomination, and instead to make good on his promise to unify our divided nation. And if he does not, members of the Senate must reject Senator Sessions for this critical role.”
Sessions is the U.S. Senate’s leading anti-immigration voice, urging severe restrictions on visas and drastically expanded immigration enforcement while blocking practical reforms to our country’s outdated immigration system. While in the Senate, he has vigorously opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Earlier in his career, when nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be a federal judge, he was turned down by the Senate amid repeated allegations of racist language, criticism of the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, and a purported joke about the Ku Klux Klan. While advising the campaign earlier this year, Senator Sessions supported Trump’s suggestion to institute a ban on Muslims entering the United States and his opposition to the 14th Amendment, which confers citizenship on people born in this country.
“This proposed nomination is another disturbing sign of where the Trump administration is headed,” DeGette noted. “If Senator Sessions was not fit to be a federal judge, he’s not fit to be Attorney General. His actions and attitudes on civil liberties make him completely wrong for the job.”
Westword’s Michael Roberts reports, as news breaks today that GOP President-elect Donald Trump wants Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. Attorney General:
In an interview with Westword, Marijuana Majority chairman and founder Tom Angell also expressed concern about the marijuana views of the person who Trump would choose to fill the position of attorney general in his administration. Among the names floated at the time were New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who’d vowed to crack down on Colorado’s marijuana system during his own failed run for the presidency, and onetime New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, another well-known weed hater.
In the end, neither Christie nor Giuliani made the cut. Instead, Trump has nominated Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of his earliest supporters in the U.S. Senate and among those who stuck by him even after the release of an Access Hollywood recording in which the president-elect joked about groping women.
Sessions has plenty of political baggage, much of it owing to what NPR has described as his “history of racially provocative remarks” — one of which had to do with marijuana. After his 1986 nomination as a federal district judge by then-President Ronald Reagan, he was said to have maintained that he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan “were okay until I found out they smoked pot.”
It’s expected that Sessions will strongly deny any racist sentiments during his confirmation hearings in the Senate–where he will face many friendly fellow Republicans, but could also fail spectacularly if the questions about his long record from Democrats get the better of him. As for marijuana, we doubt Sessions will offer the same defense despite the growing number of states that have legalized. Despite Sessions’ conservative ideology at least nominally in favor of “states’ rights,” he can be expected to blissfully ignore the Tenth Amendment when it comes to stopping the spread of the evil devil-weed.
Obviously, Sessions’ history of racism is much more disturbing than Sessions’ opposition to marijuana, but neither is likely to make him a very popular figure in Colorado. Or for that matter California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, or any other state that has legalized marijuana in recent years.
In a perfect world, the racism would be enough to disqualify Sessions, as it did when he was nominated for a federal judgeship in the 1980s. But perhaps Trump can be persuaded to reconsider Sessions by the money being made on weed?
After all, he is a businessman.
You're not along in thinking that, for sure.
Keep using your dog whistles.
They worked real well for you last week.
If you want to stop bigotry and racism, why not start with Keith Ellison, or does that strike too close to home?
Pols was kind enough not to share that Sessions' nomination as a federal judge back in 1986 was declined by a Republican Senate.
Wasn’t aware that Keith Ellison is a racist, but he is Muslim, so that’s probably a strike against him in your eyes, Andrew.
One historical footnote: one of the "no" votes was Alabama Senator Howell Heflin. When Heflin retired, Sessions ran for and won the post, and is rumored to have suggested that winning the race was a "middle finger" to the Republicans and Democrats who opposed him for the judicial appointment.
Andrew: I read your link and there is little of substance there. Ellison later refuted his claim regarding Farrakhan's comments, which date back to 1985, over 30 years ago. And so what if Ellison posted a picture from the West Bank. Many of those settlements violate existing Israeli law.
So he gets campaign contributions from CAIR. So what? Trump was endorsed for President by David Duke. Does that concern you? And Ellison took his oath of office on a Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson. Again, so what? Where is it written in law that oaths of office must be taken on a Christian bible?
I’m not a real fan of Ellison and would likely not vote for him if I lived in that district. But if you want to be credible, you need to come up with references much better than far right wing, wet dream fantasy, stuff. The difference here is that I offer common sense conservative viewpoints.
CAIR is seen in many circles as a terrorist group.
Ellison can control whose money he takes.
Trump can't control those who claim to support him.
CAIR is no more of a terrorist organization than the Republican party, and probably less. If you actually read what is on their site, you will see reports of mainstream GOP politicians peddling Islamophobic slurs, and you will see documentation of the many recent attacks on Muslims and vandalism of mosques.
CAIR is a civil rights organization, whose mission is to
That's like saying that the NAACP is an organization of uppity Negroes, or that the ADL promotes Jews taking over the banking business. Could you be any more stereotypical?
Andrew: your statement that Trump can't control those who claim to support him is inaccurate. He could have disavowed Duke, but chose not to do so, at least not immediately.
Saying that CAIR is no more a terrorist organization than the Republican Party is like saying snow is no more a form of water than ice is. Now I'm scared of cair
But let's get back to the issue at hand–the racist past of the AG-nominee, which was bad enough that a Republican-controlled senate judiciary committee voted him down, during Reagan's second term, and the same year that the entire Senate unanimously confirmed Scalia. Sessions has no business being at DOJ, unless justice is defined as "whites only"
I guess I might feel wounded if you had any grasp of what the terms you use mean. While Herr Duke's Twitter post includes a dog whistle ("institutional racism against whites"). He’s just the dog in this case. Sessions's prospective nomination is the whistle.
I didn't offer a coded message. I offered an unobfuscated one. If a former Grand Wizard of the Klan loves your work, you got a problem, son! You may or may not be a racist, but racists think you are.
Just because you claim you didn't know the dog was rabid does not absolve you from blame for opening the fucking cage. Every person who voted for Trump knew full well what his racist tendencies and connections are.
The GOP has now dropped all pretense of morality. They are power hungry and will stoop as low as they need to "Make America White Again".
The GOP is now the official home of racism in America.
Precisely, Duke. If your last statement were not true, there would be an army of GOPers lining up to protest Trump's nomination of one white supremacist after another to key posts in his administration. Instead, the GOPers are lining up to be considered for a nomination.
You conveniently forget two-time Senate Majority Leader, Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) was actually an organizer and Exalted Cyclops, in the KKK, in a state that did not have many blacks and was not even a hotbed of segregation.
Makes Jeff Sessions' alleged segregationist views rather tame in comparison.
Was Byrd ever a nominee for Attorney General? It's a more accurate description to describe him as 1% of the upper chamber. He did eventually make amends…
It has nothing to do with his proposed Cabinet position, but the Senator’s support for the Bush tax cuts while simultaneously supporting the Iraq war were deep flaws in judgement. His support of a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriages is equally as troubling (yet moot now that Trump himself considers the issue ‘settled law’).
Apples and oranges, AC.
No, but he was third in line for the presidency for eleven (non-consecutive) years. Pretty impressive for a former Klansman, eh? How reassuring was that for the country?
How many times has a 'third in Presidency' ever played out? By 1952 he had already left the Klan.
Find a new strawman, AC.
You think having an ex-Klansman was idyllic for the Senate Majority Leader?
I might have understood this better, if Byrd had been from the Deep South, but he was from West Virginia and yet he held those kind of beliefs.
Perhaps you've never been to West Virginia? That would answer your question. Do I think his positions were abhorrent? Yes. Does it surprise me, given the era? No. My God, the Klan ran the Colorado state government for a time; we had a chapter in Wray. It's how things 'were' at the time.
If you’d click to the Wiki page on Byrd (furnished in the post) you’ll read his explanation as to why he joined…and soon thereafter left. Certainly a plausible explanation; little different from the reason inner-city kids join gangs today.
It's a historical fact that Democrats were the racist party from the Civil War era until the 50s and 60s. With the implementation of Lee Atwater's Republican Southern Strategy under Reagan / Nixon, and Kennedy / Johnson's eventual embrace of the Civil Rights movement, Democrats became the civil rights party, and Republicans became the southern racist party.
This is 50-150 year old history. Trump used the Reagan-era southern groundwork in appealing to racists in his presidential run. These are also historical facts. Dredging up the 50 year old history doesn't invalidate the fresh news from 2016.
Nice try, but Trump is very clearly the candidate of racists. His cabinet picks: Bannon, Sessions, to name two, show that he owes a great debt to the white supremacist "alt-right" which gleefully owns their cherished Trump.
Also, not for nothing, but "they worked real well for you last week" isn't a particularly sturdy attack on someone who's been on this board for years saying that the Dems' narrow push to gain votes in the face of broad systemic inequality that affects people of all sorts is both ineffective and immoral. In fact, one would only have to travel back a few days to see such an example. Sorry your sick burn wasn't.
Agreed! I love it. I love that liberals hate it.
Well, Moddy, I'm a conservative and I don't think Sessions is a good choice for A.G., based on his record. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it, especially if your wish comes back to bite you in the rear.
Can we expect Congressional hearings on the Holiday's dogwhistle, the War on Christmas? Fluffy, it's Nov. 18 and you've yet to sound the alarm..step it up.
Congresswoman-for-Life Diana DeGette fails to mention that Jeff Sessions' nomination for a federal judgeship was 30 years ago. I guess she doesn't think people can change in that time frame. Is she the same person she was three decades ago?
Being the Attorney General does not carry near the clout of being a federal judge, so I would not equate the qualifications for the two positions.
Despite her 20 years on Capitol Hill, she seems to have not figured out that senators do not like to be lectured by House members about what they need to do. (The reverse is also true.) Even those senators that agree with her sentiments must be rolling their eyes. It's a bit like Ford complaining about the design of the Chevy Camaro. GM could care less. DeGette's hubris is likely not appreciated by anyone in the U.S. Senate. She is grandstanding.
Unlike Senator Byrd, Senator Sessions has offered zero amends to his earlier positions on race, etal. Perhaps Congresswoman DeGette is simply stating her position because she represents one of the most diverse Congressional districts in Colorado? Or that Senator Sessions is on record as extremely anti-marijuana and her District is ground zero for ending our trillion-dollar boondoggle, the failed 'War on Drugs'? She's no more grandstanding than Buck stroking his AR-15 in his DC office, Ed touting aerospace and NREL, Jared supporting his institutions of higher learning or Lamborn reading the Bible from the House Floor. They are reflections of their Congressional districts.
– from Bakari Sellers' Guardian article about Jeff Sessions
So Civics, AC, PeePee: Do you find Sessions' history troubling, or is it all fine with you?
Now, to the needle our junior Senator will be threading while carrying out his responsibility of the re-election of every Republican Senator in 2018 who votes affirmatively for Senator Sessions' nomination.
Sorry I had important things to do this weekend and didn’t see that you called on me. Pols site has become more boring each day. It’s the same rants over and over and over and over. Your ideas lost, your pejoratives have no impact.
The more Democrats oppose him the more I like him. The Justice Department will return to its primary function. Lets hope its first case is to prosecute the Clinton crime family.
Of course you do. That's what a complete refusal to think critically will get you – automatic reaction, controlled by stimulus.
As a Bernie supporter are you telling me you are the keeper of critical thinking?
Good job, that's what the site needs, more humor, less boring.
Yup – as a Bernie supporter, I certainly did think critically, …because I looked at policy and track record, not promises or vague assurances. HRC's track record on the TPP, for example, left many in doubt that she truly meant to put workers ahead of corporate interests…and it cost her, as we saw.
When HRC won the nomination, Bernie again showed himself as a big picture thinker by immediately endorsing her and working his butt off to get her elected. I did vote for her – because my candidate asked me to, and it was the rational choice given the raving conman yall nominated.
Trump would probably have resorted to petty revenge and mean tweets in Bernie’s shoes.
Your guy Trump, on the other hand, is going to make everything "great", "best", "tremendous", "terrific"….no details attached. But that's what con artists do….appeal to greed, laziness, and emotions, not the brain.
Now we are cooking! Excellent……I feel happier already, keep em coming.
There is an easy solution to that problem, Pee Pee…
Go away and don't come back.
MJ is too funny. She has restored my faith that Democrats have a sense of humor.
A daily dose of Powerful Prune is helpful for keeping one regular.
As a superdelegate DeGette missed the boat. Bernie was not buying off the DNC.