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CLOSER LOOK: Sessions’ 1986 Critic Not That Critical

Jeff Sessions’ 1986 judgeship nomination ultimately failed, but not everyone is remembering history correctly…

Jeff Sessions 1986

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), could be in for a nomination fight, according to a Monday report from Politico.

Because Sessions has a hefty legislative history in numerous policy areas, Democrats are also pressing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for outside witnesses to testify on the Alabama senator’s track record on immigration, domestic violence, civil rights, voting rights, government oversight and several other issues in the purview of the Justice Department.

But the Washington Examiner’s Byron York is shedding new light on Sessions’ previous nomination fight, for a federal judgeship, in 1986. Ultimately Sessions, who was the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Alabama, was rejected on the grounds that he was “insensitive” on issues of race, according to the Examiner.

But transcripts show the key witness in Sessions’ nomination battle, brought forth by now-Vice President Joe Biden, actually heaped praise on Sessions.

The witness, Justice Department lawyer Gerald Hebert, praised Sessions’ honesty, forthrightness, and friendship. He also praised “the help and cooperation Sessions offered to Justice Department civil rights lawyers who sometimes felt that other law enforcement officials were indifferent or hostile to their cause,” according to the Examiner.

Despite Democrats claims that they will bring up Sessions’ civil rights “track record,” a closer examination of the record shows Sessions’ critics from 30-plus years ago weren’t as critical as they might think.