Capitol Hill saw a flood of activity this week. Not only did the House and Senate lay the groundwork to repeal much of Obamacare and pull most federal funding away from the abortion industry, but a number of incoming Trump administration Cabinet appointments were considered by Senate committees.
Kicking off those confirmation hearings was that of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be Attorney General of the United States. Prior to the hearing, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, sent Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley a letter to add his voice in support of Senator Sessions’ nomination. Johnson stated:
Senator Sessions is a man of strength, integrity, and principle. After his years of experience in public service, particularly as a U.S. Attorney, Alabama Attorney General, and his distinguished service in the Senate, he is well-suited to lead the U.S. Department of Justice and to make certain it stays true to its mission of enforcing the law, ensuring public safety, and upholding the constitutional rights and liberties of all.
While a number of Democrats and their allies on the Left attempted to smear the character and convictions of Senator Sessions, he put up a strong defense during more than 10 hours of testimony. He told the members of the committee, a panel on which he has sat as their colleague for decades, “You know who I am. You know what I believe in. You know that I am a man of my word and can be trusted to do what I say I will do. You know that I revere our Constitution and am committed to the rule of law. And you know that I believe in fairness, impartiality, and equal justice under the law.”
Regarding vicious accusations of racism levied against him by some, he called them “damnably false charges.” In a later panel, Peter Kirsanow, a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said:
Our examination reveals Senator Sessions’ approach to civil rights issues is consistent with mainstream textual interpretation of the relevant constitutional and statutory provisions, as well as governing precedent. His legislative record is legally sound, intellectually honest, and exhibits an understanding and appreciation of the historical bases for civil rights laws. Our examination also underscores that some aspects of Senator Sessions’ record on civil rights have been mischaracterized, portraying him incongruously as somehow hostile to civil rights. The facts emphatically show otherwise.
Similarly, in his testimony before the committee, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey also lamented “such scurrilous attacks on Senator Sessions’ character.” He added, “Of all the insidious practices that have crept into our politics in recent times, I know of none more insidious than casual and unjustified accusations of racism, smears that once leveled are difficult to wipe clean.”
Johnson highlighted in his letter to Chairman Grassley that Senator Sessions is a man who honors faith and family. Johnson concluded, “At his core, he is a good and honorable citizen – one whom we can trust to be true to the Constitution and to embrace our nation’s founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: January 12, 2017