Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions finally earned Senate approval Wednesday evening after more than 30 hours of debate.
As I wrote last Friday, Trump’s decision to fire former acting AG Sally Yates after she refused to defend his travel ban threw a wrench into the process – and effectively transformed the confirmation vote into a referendum on Trump’s immigration policies.
Wednesday’s grueling debate came to a head when Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) read an excerpt from a 1986 letter in which the late wife of Martin Luther King Jr. portrayed Sessions as racist.
“I guess because he’s from Alabama, they think every white male is a racist, or at least might be,” argued Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “I just think that’s wrong, it’s obnoxious and it’s something that we ought all decry.”
To his credit, the 70-year-old senator did his best to stay away from personal insults. “We need latitude in our relationships,” said Sessions as he read his resignation letter to his colleagues. “Denigrating people who disagree with us is not a healthy trend for our body.”
Republicans were united in their support for Sessions, with every single one of them voting to confirm his position in Trump’s Cabinet. The final vote was 52-47, with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin as the only Democrat to support Sessions.
“He’s honest. He’s fair. He’s been a friend to many of us, on both sides of the aisle,” said Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “It’s been tough to watch all this good man has been put through in recent weeks.”
“He is a thoroughly decent and honorable member of the United States Senate and he will do an outstanding job I believe in restoring the reputation of the Department of Justice,” said Texas Senator John Cornyn.
Unlike Sec. of State Rex Tillerson and Def. Sec. James Mattis, Sessions hasn’t disagreed with Trump on a single issue. His undeniable loyalty to President Trump, which began during the early days of the billionaire’s campaign, is a major concern for Democrats.
“Democrats had repeatedly contended that Sessions is too close to Trump, too harsh on immigrants, and weak on civil rights for minorities, immigrants, gay people, and women,” reports Fox News.
The Dems also worry that Sessions doesn’t have the nerve to stand up to Trump. “I’m worried he will not be an independent voice from the president as the job requires, and will instead defend all pieces of the president’s agenda without question – whether constitutional or not.”
Editor’s note: This last comment is amazingand appalling, considering how Attorney General Lynch folded under pressure when it came to Hillary’s emails. She completely avoided any involvement in the face of devastating damage to the country.