On the whole, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions rolled through the first day of his
auto de fe confirmation hearing. He didn’t take any hits and left his opponents with little in the way of damaging admissions with which to justify their inevitable vote against him. Such as these bitter tears from Politico:
Jeff Sessions withstood a marathon grilling before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday with his chief goal mostly accomplished: Do no harm.
The conservative Alabama senator and Donald Trump’s pick to serve as attorney general came prepared to rebut accusations of racism, address criticisms of his policy positions and discuss controversial views and even tweets from President-elect Donald Trump.
But Sessions emerged largely unscathed from the 10½ hours of testimony, with Democrats failing to land crippling political blows against one of the slew of Trump nominees they’ve vowed to fight. Sessions and his team know he won’t garner much support from Democrats, much less those who sit on the Judiciary Committee — but Sessions needs only 51 votes, and nothing from his hearing suggests he won’t get there.
These are some hightlights in no particular order:
Sessions will recuse himself from any decision to pursue the investigation of Hillary Clinton.
Sessions believes Roe is un-constitutional but demurs when it comes to saying he will try to have it overturned.
Sessions believes gay marriage is settled law and will enforce it
Sessions says the law says waterboarding is torture and he will enforce the law.
Doesn’t believe in a ban on Muslim immigration though he would ban immigrants whose religion advocates violence. Against a “Muslim registry.”