Tomorrow, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary is set to begin its confirmation hearings on Senator Jeff Sessions’ appointment to serve as the next Attorney General for the United States.
The Attorney General is arguably a President’s most important Cabinet position. It is critical that the next Attorney General of the United States be someone who is ready, willing, and able to not only carry out the important functions of the office as America’s top law-enforcement officer, but also restore the integrity of the office and fidelity to the Constitution that it demands.
Senator Jeff Sessions is just the man for the job.
Senator Sessions has spent a lifetime working to defend the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. As a private attorney, U.S. attorney, Attorney General of Alabama, and U.S. Senator, Senator Sessions has consistently applied the law enforcement principles set forth in the Constitution. These varied experiences will allow him to bring a much-needed multi-faceted perspective to the Justice Department.
Senator Sessions also will play a pivotal role in restoring confidence and credibility to a badly damaged, scandal-ridden Justice Department. The American people deserve an Attorney General and a Justice Department centered on upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. That is exactly what Senator Sessions will do. Senator Sessions’ long track record of working across lines – be they political, racial, or socioeconomic lines – is exemplary. His professionalism and proven record make him uniquely qualified for this challenge.
Senator Sessions is supremely and uniquely qualified to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States and he should be confirmed without delay.
In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, we recently expanded upon these views – about the requirements for holding this pivotal position and that Senator Sessions meets and even exceeds those requirements.
In the lead up to his confirmation hearing and in a time when many are already threatening to make this as chaotic and difficult as possible, we urged the Committee to keep the following in mind:
First, any prospective Attorney General must have a long and proven record of commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law it undergirds. This concept is foundational to the American form of government and the law enforcement structure on which the Department of Justice (DOJ) rests. Unfortunately, recent years have demonstrated that fidelity to this concept is woefully lacking within the current DOJ.
We are heartened that Senator Sessions has not only repeatedly expressed his dedication to the Constitution and the rule of law, but has also spent his life putting that commitment into practice. As a private attorney, U.S. attorney, Attorney General of Alabama, and U.S. Senator, Senator Sessions has consistently applied the law enforcement principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. These varied experiences will allow him to bring a much-needed multi-faceted perspective to the DOJ.
Next, we believe it is particularly important at this time in our history that the next Attorney General be equipped to repair the damaged reputation of the DOJ. With no ill will toward the many dedicated employees of the DOJ, the recently-concluded election cycle and the track record of the last few years have caused the American People to be less than fully confident in the neutrality of its top law enforcement agency. Some may quibble with whether that lack of confidence is justified, but everyone should acknowledge that it is critical to regain that confidence. The American People deserve a judicial system that can be trusted to act free of partisan influence.
Senator Sessions is supremely equipped to meet this challenge on two main levels. First, he has the administrative experience from his time as the Attorney General of Alabama to conduct a top to bottom review of the DOJ and make needed improvements. Next, Senator Sessions’ long track record of working across lines—be they political, racial, or socioeconomic lines—is exemplary. His professionalism and proven record make him uniquely qualified for this challenge.
Finally, we expect any prospective nominee for this post to be forthcoming with the Committee, and expect the Committee to respectfully but thoroughly examine the nominee’s qualifications. This is a model that Senator Sessions himself followed as a member of the Committee. Maybe the most notable example of this practice occurred in 2009 when Senator Session respectfully explored a number of areas in which he and the then-nominee for Attorney General Eric Holder disagreed. Upon completing the review process, Senator Sessions voted to confirm Mr. Holder despite the sustained policy differences.
The Judiciary Committee must now return the same courtesy of a thorough, fair, and respectful confirmation process to Senator Sessions.
At the ACLJ, we remain confident that the end result will clearly show that Senator Sessions is supremely and uniquely qualified to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States. We are aggressively working to ensure that Sen. Sessions is given a fair hearing and confirmed without delay. We urge you to join us and express your support for Senator Sessions to your Senators.
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