Multiple Democratic colleagues of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., have announced they will be voting against his appointment to be the next attorney general.
The most recent is Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who stated on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, “I just don’t feel comfortable that he would protect all Americans’ rights.”
Sen. Al Franken told Morning Joe that he plans to vote against Trump’s AG nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions: https://t.co/kJHpibeOX7
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 13, 2017
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement on Thursday indicating that he was opposing Sessions’ appointment.
“After reviewing his record and giving careful consideration to his answers during the hearing, I am not confident in Senator Sessions’ ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration,” Schumer said.
The minority leader cited Sessions’ view on immigration reform as one of the reasons.
I am not confident in Sen Sessions’ ability to defend the rights of all Americans, or to serve as indep. check on the next administration.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 12, 2017
New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker took the unprecedented step of testifying against a fellow senator at Sessions’ confirmation hearing on Thursday.
“Sen. Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all of our citizens,” Booker told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“With the urgent need to healing and for love, I pray that my colleagues will join me in opposing his nomination,” the senator added.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa, indicated on Wednesday that he’s leaning against voting to approve Sessions.
I have significant concerns regarding U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination to serve as Attorney General.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) January 11, 2017
Listen to our latest podcast to hear WJ editors discuss the Democratic backlash against Trump’s cabinet picks.
Meanwhile, at least one Democrat senator has indicated that he will vote to approve his colleague.
“Jeff Sessions has my vote,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Thursday. “He’s my friend. . . . He’s handled himself well.
“I’m voting for the person I know. The bottom line is President Trump won the election. He ought to have a right to put his staff together.”
Thanks to former Sen. Harry Reid’s exercise of the “nuclear option” in 2013, presidential appointees — save those for the Supreme Court — only require a majority vote, so Sessions will likely be confirmed with the full support of Republican senators.
As reported by Western Journalism, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hammered senate Democrats for their rank hypocrisy in their new found respect for protecting all Americans’ rights and for the rule of law given their history over the last several years.
The Texan rattled off numerous lawless deeds by the Obama administration at Sessions’ confirmation hearing on Wednesday that went unchallenged and even unmentioned by Democrats, including: Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS targeting of conservative groups trying to exercise their First Amendment rights, Operation Choke Point (which sought to deny Americans engaged in “high-risk” businesses like operating a gun store) access to the banking system, the Obama administration’s release of tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens whose past offenses included rape and murder, the paying of nearly $2 billion in ransom to Iran for American hostages, the numerous changes to provisions of Obamacare without congressional approval, and the recess appointments by the president, which the Supreme Court later ruled, unanimously, were unconstitutional.
In all these instances and more, Cruz stated, the Democrats were silent. “That pattern has been dismaying,” observed the senator.
The message Cruz was trying to convey is clear: if the Democrats’ threshold for officials during the Obama administration faithfully and fairly carrying out the duties of office was so low, they have no leg to stand on in opposing Sessions, whose career in public service has been exemplary and whose respect for the rule of law is well documented.
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