Sessions face confirmation battle in SenateBy Mike Finnegan | 01/11/2017 11:12pm
Senator Jeff Sessions was nominated for the position of U.S. Attorney General by President- Elect Trump in November. Photo courtesy of Flickr.com
Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions faced an intense political battle on the Hill as he looks to become the next Attorney General of the United States.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted the confirmation hearing for Sen. Sessions where he was probed by political opponents regarding alleged past racial comments, his record on civil rights and his views on the protections for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Sessions made clear that he intends to enforce the existing laws on the books, including the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, the current federal law against the use of waterboarding and long-standing voter protection statutes.
When asked about potential conflicts of interest in the administration, Sessions said he would recuse himself from any investigation into Hillary Clinton, saying that the topic would “place my objectivity in question.”
On the second day of the hearing, Wednesday, the committee heard testimonies for and against Sessions. Sessions’s former chief counsel, William Smith, spoke in defense of Sessions to discourage the belief that Sessions has held racist beliefs. Meanwhile, William Cornell Brooke, president of the NAACP, questioned whether Sessions will ensure the civil rights of all Americans.
Wednesday also saw a first for the U.S. Senate. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker testified against Sessions, marking the first time a sitting senator took the stand against a current colleague.
The confirmation hearings are ongoing.