For Sessions, Confirmation Hearings May Feel Familiar

Specter's far right replacement once rejected by same committee
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 10:20 AM CDT
Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a leading critic of the immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate, said, "We are going to use every effort to slow this process down and continue to hold up the bill."   (AP Photo/ABC, Lauren Victoria Burke)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Even if Al Franken is seated, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee isn't guaranteed an easy confirmation process. The reason is Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who inherited Arlen Specter's seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The fiery Sessions knows the committee well: It blocked his bid to become a federal judge 23 years ago, Time reports.

Sessions' nomination to the district court bench failed when the then-Republican-controlled committee voted him down, 10-8, after charges of inappropriate racial views surfaced. "It will be interesting to see if a guy who feels he was tagged as a racist unfairly will listen to appeals that he not do the same thing to judicial nominees of the party that did it to him," says one observer.