By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee (which he has sat on for years) later today. He will be introduced to the Committee by US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama).
“I will have the honor of introducing my friend Senator Jeff Sessions at his Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing,” Shelby stated. “I look forward to discussing his unmatched qualifications to be the next US Attorney General as well as his extraordinary character and integrity.”
Since being nominated to the position by President-elect Donald Trump, several progressive and civil rights groups groups have raised concerns over Session’s previous statements regarding race.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) dismissed many of Sessions’ critics on Monday, stating, “Most of the criticism that I’ve heard of Sen. Sessions being attorney general at this point predates his being a United States senator or even a US attorney, going back to the time he was nominated to be a judge.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who replaced Senator Patrick Leahy as the ranking Democrat on the committee, vowed to hold a “full and fair process.”
“Senator Sessions has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for many years so he’s well aware of the thorough vetting he’s about to receive,” Feinstein said. “And while many of us have worked with Senator Sessions closely and know him to be a staunch advocate for his beliefs, the process will remain the same: a fair and complete review of the nominee. While Senator Sessions and I differ on a great many issues, I am committed to a full and fair process.”
The Sessions confirmation will be an early test for President-elect Trump’s transition team, which is expecting to face a series of contentious confirmation fights.
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathon Turley told the New York Tines, “The Justice Department is likely to be one of the most transformed departments in the cabinet in a Trump administration, and with an Attorney General Sessions, you’d obviously see a very strong law-and-order figure at the top. Much of his self-identity is as a prosecutor — a real, in-the-trenches prosecutor.”
You can watch the hearing live at 8:30am CT on C-SPAN.
The Judiciary Committee is composed of 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats. Sessions is expected to provide testimony later today