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Ten Takeaways from the Sessions Hearings

By Carrie Severino | January 11th, 2017

Today’s hearings were a home run for Senator Sessions, as Byron York has noted (link: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2611442?platform=hootsuite). The rest of the confirmation process should be smooth sailing. Here are some of the main themes and moments to remember from his testimony:

1. Respect for Rule of Law

Sessions returned repeatedly to his main theme of respect for the rule of law. On several occasions other senators asked him about his position on various issues, from enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, to the FACE Act, to drug laws, to immigration. Across the board, whether it was a law he loved or hated, he pledged to enforce the law as passed by our elected representatives. That’s a big contrast with the Obama administration’s penchant for failing to enforce drug and immigration laws they disagreed with and attacking laws like DOMA in the courts.

2. A Constitutional Check on the Executive

A complementary focus was the Attorney General’s role in ensuring that the executive is abiding by the Constitution, including resigning rather than taking unlawful or unconstitutional actions.

“I think an Attorney General should first work with the president, hopefully that Attorney General would have the confidence of the President, and avoid situations that would be unacceptable. I do believe that if an Attorney General is asked to do something that is plainly unlawful, he cannot participate in that, he or she, and that person would have to resign ultimately before agreeing to execute a policy that the Attorney General believes would be unlawful or unconstitutional.”

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