Under the Obama Administration, Americans saw eight years of a fundamental disrespect for the rule of law, which is one of the many reasons I am glad President-elect Trump has nominated Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General.
Senator Sessions has shown, during his 20 years in the Senate, as U.S. Attorney, and as Alabama’s Attorney General, that he will stand up for the rule of law amidst political pressure from both sides—a skill set I am sure he will put to good use as our next Attorney General.
The Department of Justice, under the leadership of President Trump and Attorney General Sessions, will be able to exercise its legal authority over cases in the nation’s immigration courts. His tough, but fair, approach to immigration will put jobs for Americans first, an issue that affects African American and other minority communities competing with illegal immigrants for jobs. And the threat of withdrawing federal money from sanctuary cities who harbor criminal aliens will also make our urban areas safer.
But perhaps the most important issue to me is that of criminal justice reform. In 2010, Senator Sessions supported measures to remove the sentencing discrepancy between cocaine (used more often by whites) and its drug cousin crack (used more often by blacks). As a U.S. Attorney in the 1980s, he worked with a minority community organizer in his home of Mobile, Alabama, to set up a “Drug Court” that would help first time offenders with minor drug charges—often young black men—clear their records.
For years, liberals and academics have talked a big game on criminal justice reform, but have yet to take any real action on making sure the system really reforms law breakers. America will be stronger when families are no longer broken apart, and with his strong pro-family record and willingness to work for fair solutions that protect victims and disadvantaged populations, Jeff Sessions will bring the balance we need to find real justice.
As soon as speculation emerged that Senator Sessions would become our next Attorney General, a familiar refrain was sung by many on the left resurrecting old, disproven smears.
When it comes to whether or not Sessions is a racist, I am inclined to believe those black men and women who have worked closely with him over those on the left who have political motivations.
“He doesn’t have a racist bone in his body,” said African American former deputy attorney general Larry Thompson.
“I’ve been an African American man for 71 years,” continued Thompson, who served in the George W. Bush administration. “I think I know a racist when I see one. Jeff is far from being a racist. He’s a good person, a decent person.”
William Smith, whom Sessions hired as chief counsel in the Judiciary Committee and was the first black Republican to serve in the post, has also come to his defense, saying, “the people making these allegations don’t know Jeff Sessions… When it comes down to the issues, if you look at Jeff Sessions’ history, he did prosecute the head of the KKK, made sure that he received the death penalty, [and] he desegregated the schools in Alabama.”
“I have known Senator Sessions for over 20 years and worked for him over ten,” said Smith in a recent interview. “Not one time, throughout that entire experience, has he ever said anything offensive or racist. This was not a casual relationship. I’ve been in pressure situations with him for hours at a time, so certainly if he had any racial tendencies, I would have seen them.”
“It is not just my experience,” Smith continued, “but the experience of others who have worked with him and around him. The people attacking Senator Sessions now have not spent any time with him or around him, they simply don’t know him.
“As legislators,we should work to strengthen the appreciation for this fundamental governing principle by recognizing those who make extraordinary contributions towards ensuring that all American citizens have the opportunity, regardless of their race, sex, creed or national origin, to enjoy in the freedoms that this country has to offer,” Sessions said, before calling Rosa Parks a “living embodiment of this principle.” A year later, Sessions attached an amendment to an appropriations bill that gave $1 million to Alabama for the Rosa Parks Library, Museum and Learning Center at Troy State University Montgomery Campus as a way of memorializing the Montgomery Bus Boycott, for which Parks’ protest was the impetus.
In 2005, after Parks’ death, Sessions gave a passionate tribute to her on the floor of the Senate, saying “history will remember Rosa Parks for shaking America’s conscience and changing the course of our Nation for the better.”
At Reaching America we believe that American leaders should put American workers first, and as the extremely popular junior Senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions has shown he will always stand up for the people he represents. He was also one of the very first politicians to support President-elect Trump, recognizing the power in promising to Make America Great Again.
Jeff Sessions, with his experience as a Senator, U.S. Attorney, and state Attorney General, as well as his history of being a principled, fair man with a strong respect for the rule of law, will be an excellent leader of our Department of Justice.