MEDIA SPOTLIGHT ON GAPS IN SESSIONS’ RECORDS: After progressive groups including Alliance for Justice, our sister organization, spotlighted decades of records that Sen. Jeff Sessions has withheld from his replies to a Senate questionnaire, national news media jumped on the story over the long holiday weekend.
Huffington Post said Sessions, the Attorney General nominee, “left out major details from his years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, from 1981 to 1993; as attorney general of Alabama, from 1995 to 1997; and as a first-term U.S. senator, from 1997 to 2002. The gaps encompass the time, for example, when Sessions was nominated to be a federal judge in 1986 ― and then rejected after being deemed too racist.”
It also said Sessions in the past “has chided previous nominees for failing to provide the committee with a full account of their backgrounds,” and quoted AFJ President Nan Aron as saying, “Sen. Sessions’ nomination package is still nowhere near ready for prime time, and it’s hypocritical that he so frequently slammed past nominees for submitting incomplete documents only to do the same thing himself.” Aron added, “So why not just slow down, give everyone the time they need to find everything and review everything, and not rush this really critical nomination through without allowing for due diligence.” Also reporting on the groups’ concerns and requests for a delay in his confirmation hearings were CNN and The Hill.
Meanwhile the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote a Chicago Sun-Times commentary, titled “Civil rights at risk under Sessions,” and WTVM.com reported, “NAACP National President to appear in Mobile to protest Sessions.”
TRUMP NARROWING LIST FOR SUPREME COURT? President-elect Trump’s eight frontrunners for a Supreme Court vacancy, according to Politico, are Judges William Pryor, Diane Sykes, Raymond Kethledge, Joan Larsen, Neil Gorsuch, Steven Colloton, Raymond Gruender, and Thomas Hardiman.
A separate Politico article suggested that Trump’s transition team is engaged in a dual-track selection process. “The thinking inside the transition, according to multiple people involved in the internal deliberations, is that [Justice Antonin] Scalia’s replacement offers Trump and the conservative movement the best chance for an unabashedly rock-ribbed replacement because it would not fundamentally shift the court’s balance of power,” according to Politico. Its article continued:
“But in the current search process, Trump’s team is also hoping to identify a conservative candidate — possibly a woman — who could be more politically palatable, or at least harder for Senate Democrats to oppose, if [Justices] Kennedy or Ginsburg leave the court.”
In related coverage, The Guardian reported, “Where the supreme court battle goes from here: ‘There will be a huge fight.'”