Confirmation Controversies Start Today With Jeff Sessions
Here's what to look for
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2017 2:10 AM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2017 6:09 AM CST
In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

(Newser) – Let the fighting begin: The confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, is scheduled for Tuesday, and in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee made public Monday, Trump critic and Gold Star father Khizr Khan spoke out against Sessions. "Thirty years ago, a bipartisan group of senators rejected Mr. Sessions' nomination to be a federal judge. His record since then does not give us any reason to believe that those senators were in error," the letter reads, per CNN. Sessions has been accused of calling the NAACP and the ACLU "un-American," joking about the KKK, and calling a black assistant US attorney who worked for him "boy," among other things. That's just the beginning of the controversy swirling around Sessions:

  • Speaking of 30 years ago, NPR looks at the 1986 hearings related to Sessions' nomination as a federal judge, noting that there are two accounts of those hearings—both of them true.
  • One of the reasons Sessions failed to become a federal judge: the "voter fraud case [he] lost and can't escape," which the New York Times delves into.
  • In the 1980s, Sessions "played a crucial role in ensuring that the lynching of 19-year-old Michael Donald by two members of the Ku Klux Klan was investigated and punished" as the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, the Atlantic notes. But the "real story" is much more complicated than it would seem.
  • USA Today notes that a group of black pastors rallied for Sessions Monday, insisting he's not a racist.
  • Over at the Washington Post, Larry Thompson, deputy US attorney general from 2001 to 2003, argues that Sessions deserves the AG post.
  • The Chicago Tribune looks at what Democrats will use to challenge Sessions, including his record on immigration and community policing.
  • Roll Call reports Sen. Cory Booker will testify against Sessions, and explains why it's an "unprecedented" move.
  • BuzzFeed lists four things to watch for during Sessions' confirmation hearing.
  • Finally, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a look at Sessions via his own words, offering up a series of illuminating quotes.

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