Drama in Senate Debate: Sen. Sessions as AG

February 8, 2017

 

Jeff Sessions is expected to be voted tonight to be our Attorney General. Even though it seems like a easy walk for Sessions to be AG, it did not come without drama. 

Last night Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass) was ordered to stop talking on the Senate floor because she was violating Senate rules by “impugning” (questioning in a negative way) the character of another Senator, Jeff Sessions. Sen. Warren was debating against his confirmation for attorney general. 

She was reading a statement from 1986 by the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr — Coretta Scott King — who was against Sessions being confirmed as federal judge (a bid he failed to get). Here is the specific quote she read: 

“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen.” 

Coretta was talking about an incident where Sessions, as a US Attorney, tried to prosecute three black civil rights activists, accusing them of voter fraud. Sessions lost that case when a federal jury acquitted the three. 

The context of the letter was that black people had to really fight for their rights to vote and Sessions was one of the people who impeded that progress. You can read the full letter at this link: http://n.pr/2kSQil0

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky) was the one who reprimanded Sen. Warren, saying she impugned Sen. Sessions’ character. The Senate voted 49-43 in agreement. As a result, she will not be able to speak on the Senate floor for the rest of the debate on Sessions for AG. 

But Sen. Warren has access to social media — and she did a Facebook LIVE video outside the Senate and read the entire letter. The video now has almost 7 million views. http://bit.ly/2k3xuvf

She also took to Twitter and made tweets (just like Trump does): 

[Tweet: “I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system.”]

[Tweet: “I will not be silent while the Republicans rubber stamp an AG who will never stand up to the @POTUS when he breaks the law.”]

Sessions did defend himself against accusations of racism during his confirmation hearings — saying they were damnably false. He said he is not a racist. He also have defended himself in the Marion Three case, saying he did it because he got complaints from local officials. 

At his confirmation hearings, many people came in defense of Sessions, saying they have never seen him exhibiting racist behavior. Some say the accusations are only a smear attempt to stop him from being the AG. With the backing of President Trump and the GOP-controlled Senate, he will be the AG and yet another controversial figure in Trump’s administration.

 

 

 

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