The Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting this morning, and the Trump Administration is hoping their nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), is confirmed. It’s widely thought Sessions will make the cut and will lead the nation’s Justice Department.
Nevertheless, Democrats are taking one last shot at the beleaguered senator.
Concerns over Sessions civil rights records, ethics and his unwillingness to further investigate Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 Elections have brought Trump’s nominee under considerable scrutiny over the last month.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), said in a statement late yesterday that he has concerns about Sessions “independence to put the Constitution before the president.” Monday evening, then acting Attorney General Sally Yates refused to defend the Trump Administration’s immigration policy and travel bans, saying she felt the order was unlawful. She was later fired by Trump and replaced with another acting attorney general Dana Boente.
In an earlier hearing on January 10, Sessions vowed he would not allow his personal views to interfere with his duties as attorney general. He further said he would abide by the Supreme Court decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage, two issues he is personally opposed to.
Just yesterday, however, Democratic Senator Cory Booker said he did not believe Session would stand by his earlier statements, especially those regarding LGBT rights.
No Democrats on the committee has indicated they plan to vote for the Sessions confirmation. Democrats are also likely to use today’s hearings as a soap box to speak out against Trump’s orders on immigration and the travel ban.
Democrats, who had recently said they would work with the new president to help his nominees get through quickly, have taken a step back from that stance over the last couple of days.
Meanwhile, former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s nomination for head of the Department of Energy has moved on to the committee.