The left is going to make attacking Jeff Sessions the cornerstone of its early resistance to Donald Trump. Elizabeth Warren, a possible presidential contender in 2020, sounded the call almost immediately, asserting a moral imperative to block Sessions’ confirmation.
The alleged moral imperative is based on stale and, in some cases, disputed claims of mildly racist comments that were alleged 30 years ago when Sessions was denied confirmation for a federal judgeship. Warren stated:
Thirty years ago, a different Republican Senate rejected Senator Sessions’ nomination to a federal judgeship. In doing so, that Senate affirmed that there can be no compromise with racism; no negotiation with hate. Today, a new Republican Senate must decide whether self-interest and political cowardice will prevent them from once again doing what is right.
But did the Senate get it right 30 years ago. Arlen Specter, who cast the deciding vote against Sessions, later concluded it did not. Specter, who has never big on confessing error, called his vote a “mistake” that “remains one of my biggest regrets.”
Specter was right. Let’s look beyond disputed allegations about stray remarks to Sessions’ record.
Mark Hemmingway points out:
As a U.S. Attorney, [Sessions] filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama. And he also prosecuted the head of the state Klan, Henry Francis Hays, for abducting and killing Michael Donald, a black teenager selected at random. Sessions insisted on the death penalty for Hays.
When he was later elected the state Attorney General, Sessions followed through and made sure Hays was executed. The successful prosecution of Hays also led to a $7 million civil judgment against the Klan, effectively breaking the back of the KKK in Alabama.
In Warren’s terms, Sessions refused to compromise with racism and negotiate with hate.
The Democrats don’t have the votes to block Sessions’ confirmation. Thanks to rules changes pushed through by Harry Reid, it no longer requires 60 votes to confirm presidential appointees….