Here’s hoping the United States Senate takes that whole “advice and consent” thing seriously when the new Congress takes office. President-elect Trump’s picks so far range from comical to terrifying to dumpster fire bad. Why yes, we mean Attorney General nominee and Alabama Senator, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III….
We’ve covered Sessions for almost a decade here at Left in Alabama; here’s hoping the rest of the country can pressure their senators to learn from our mistakes. Let’s have a review session…
First… if you read nothing else in this article… let it be THIS LINK with historical data about his failed bid in 1986 to become a federal judge.
Sessions, a Republican and former federal prosecutor, argued that Supreme Court justices aren’t charged with protecting national security, so they should leave such things to Congress and the White House. He also said the judiciary should not have a check on the legislative or executive branches.
“Who checks their ability to render an opinion?” Sessions asked. “So they are superior to all other branches, and they get to review every other branch? That’s the mindset we’re operating under and they’re operating under – that somehow they have the authority and responsibility to superintend everything that goes on in government and, if it offends their sensibilities, they’re going to do something about it. But that’s not the constitutional structure.”
Um… yes. YES IT IS the “constitutional structure!”
He said on the floor of the Senate in 2007 during a debate over FISA and warrantless spying on American citizens:
“Some people in this chamber love the Constitution more than the love the safety of this nation.
We should all send President Bush a letter thanking him for protecting us.”
Change that to “thank him for breaking the Middle East and giving us ISIS,” and I’m all for that letter to Bush, Senator.
He tried to use the search for dead bodies after Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to repeal the estate tax. Oh yes, he did! Time magazine reported:
Federal troops aren’t the only ones looking for bodies on the Gulf Coast. On Sept. 9, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions called his old law professor Harold Apolinsky, co-author of Sessions’ legislation repealing the federal estate tax, which was encountering sudden resistance on the Hill. Sessions had an idea to revitalize their cause, which he left on Apolinsky’s voice mail: “[Arizona Sen.] Jon Kyl and I were talking about the estate tax. If we knew anybody that owned a business that lost life in the storm, that would be something we could push back with. If legislative ambulance chasing looks like a desperate measure, for the backers of repealing the estate tax, these are desperate times.
In 2007, he voted against the right of Habeas Corpus when it was put back into the Military Commissions Act. Nothing like an Attorney General who thinks a defendant can be convicted without seeing the evidence against him.
He said in October that the 2016 election was rigged. If so, can we overturn it, Jeff?
He defended Trump against the family of a fallen soldier and refused to answer questions about Trump’s ties to Russia.
He tried to brew a tempest in a teacup over the security fence around the DNC convention hall – conveniently forgetting that the RNC had one too and that both conventions were deemed “natural security events.”
He voted against Loretta Lynch for Attorney General and said:
“The Senate must never confirm an individual to such an office as this who will support and advance a scheme that violates our Constitution and eviscerates established law and Congressional authority. No person who would do that should be confirmed. And we don’t need to be apologetic about it,” Sessions said during the vote.
Let’s take up a collection to have that statement tattooed on his forehead.
Sessions was described as an “odious hack” who’s possibly “clinically insane” by a big-money Republican donor and tech executive.
Long before he was attacking the family of a Medal of Honor winner, Sessions repeatedly voted against bi-partisan efforts to help veterans.
Sessions was one of only 3 senators to vote against the Jeffers/McCain bill. His reasoning was simple: we had plenty of money to fight two wars “off the books” and add billions to the debt; too bad there’s nothing left to take care of the people who were injured during the fighting.
He was the Senate’s top talker in 2014, and good heavens… the things he said!
It’s an embarrassment to the entire state each time he takes the floor, but Sessions doesn’t limit himself to the Senate. He takes his crazy on the road with stuff like this: President Obama may be a “radical Machiavelli.“
He’s one of Ted Cruz’s best buddies in the Senate.
During the course of the evening, Sessions asked Cruz to yield for questions, alternately applauding the freshman senator for his stand against the health care legislation, and asking him to clarify specific points he opposes in the bill.
Cruz said of Sessions, “I appreciate his friendship and wisdom.”
In 2013, Sessions was one of only 5 Republican senators who voted against a bi-partisan effort to make it easier for law enforcement to investigate and shut down human trafficking rings. But let’s call “human trafficking” for what it really is: modern day slavery.
Keep reading campers…,. There’s years of stuff still to go.
In 2012, he stared down former Senator Bob Dole and voted against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled because of… black helicopters, One World Government, and abortion. Seriously.
He announced that “everybody should pay more taxes,” and voted against a tax cut for the Middle Class because it didn’t also cut taxes on the wealthy.
Sessions voted against the Veterans Jobs Bill that would have helped returning 9/11 veterans find private sector jobs in a really tough market. Why? Well, because not everybody, apparently, should pay more taxes:
Republicans objected to the projected price tag of the jobs bill as well as the administration’s plan to pay for it by imposing penalties on Medicare providers and suppliers who are delinquent on taxes, and by collecting back taxes from others.
He voted to cut taxes on millionaires and raise taxes on the middle class. Gotta be a “moral issue” somehow, right?
He filibustered the DISCLOSE Act because voters have no right to know who’s funding what campaign or dark money group:
Corporate ‘personhood’ and unlimited corporate contributions are bad enough. Unlimited corporate contributions coupled with no disclosure of contributors is a recipe for how to sell kill off your democracy.
That tree is sure bearing fruit.
Sessions voted against a bill in 2012 that would have removed $4 billion in corporate welfare to oil companies.
He voted for the “Bridge to Nowhere” in 2005, then blocked crucial infrastructure spending in 2011 that would have build needed roads, bridges, and brought construction jobs.
2011: Sessions supported a bill that would have prohibited the DOJ from suing states that pass unconstitutional anti-immigration laws and enshrine civil rights violations into state law.
In the wake of the horrible 2011 tornado outbreak that devastated many Alabama communities, Sessions was the lone senator to speak on the floor against additional FEMA funding. He and Shelby supported a GOP filibuster of the bill. After all, Alabama had just gotten a pile of money, so the rest of the country could just go without.
In 2010, Sessions blocked a bill to expand low-power radio stations in Alabama.
Sessions voted against additional protections against contaminated food. So if you get food poisoning from your salad, you know who to call!
The amendment would provide justice to prevent what happened to a Haliburton employee who was gang raped by Haliburton employees and then told that she could not file a lawsuit. The amendment would prohibit government contractors from including such provisions in their contracts with employees.
In 2009, Sessions made the Salon list of “senators who can be called knuckleheads.”
He went along with the anti-Obamacare hysteria, feigning ignorance about conspiracy theories like “the government would have access to your bank account” if the ACA passed.
He voted against Justice Sotomayor for SCOTUS and basically called her a liar. If so, it takes one to know one, Jeff.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions will vote against Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court during Tuesday’s committee vote, calling her recent pledge of fidelity to the law a disingenuous attempt to mask a judicial philosophy that would push the court to the political left.
He blocked a federal judiciary appointment in 2009 because the the guy was too interested in separation of church and state.
The reason given by Sessions has to do with a church/state decision from Judge Hamilton–he had the gall to tell the Indiana State Legislature that the needed to be less Jesus-centric in their opening prayers.
He thinks Gitmo is a country club prison with “tropical breezes” blowing through.
2008: Sessions says that all earmarks are bad – except the ones he supports.
Sessions, usually a critic of excessive earmarking of federal budgets, said Monday that he would not support a total ban on Congress’ ability to steer money to projects that the president did not request. He also defended the projects sponsored by his office as meritorious and within the pre-set spending limits. …
The $188 million sponsored by Sessions is the highest among the Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. …
2008: Sessions was one of only a few senators to vote against the “New GI Bill,” which would have, among other things, expanded educational benefits for veterans.
In an issue near to Alabama hearts, Sessions and Shelby helped kill the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It subsequently passed under President Obama, but it’s at the top of the “repeal agenda” of the incoming Congress.
As Alabama Attorney General, he tried to deny funding to college Gay/Straight Alliance groups, arguing in Federal Court that:
“an organization that professes to be comprised of homosexuals and/or lesbians may not receive state funding or use state-supported facilities to foster or promote those illegal, *1551 sexually deviate activities defined in the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws.”
Sessions voted against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, no on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and had a ZERO rating from the Human Rights Campaign and a 7% rating from the NAACP. Learn more about his Civil Rights record here.
Attorney General is a position that required Senate approval, ie “advice and consent.” Start communicating with your senators NOW. Give them your advice not to consent to this nomination.