Jeff Sessions

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Trump: I'll Announce VP Pick on Friday

He says he's narrowed it down to 2, 3, or 4

(Newser) - After days of mounting suspense, the finale of Donald Trump's VP search will take place Friday morning. Trump tweeted Wednesday night that he will make the announcement in Manhattan at 11am. His tweet followed what CNN calls "frenzied, last-minute try-outs" in person and over the phone from the... More »

Judges' $1M Maui Trip Turns Heads in Congress

Ninth Circuit conference would include full-service spa

(Newser) - US senators are scrutinizing a planned Maui getaway for circuit court judges that could cost more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars, Fox News reports. Scheduled for August, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference would allow judges, attorneys, staff, and "special guests" to stay at a Hyatt Regency resort spa... More »

GOP Balks at Renewing Violence Against Women Act

Because Democrats added provisions about immigrants, same-sex couples

(Newser) - Conservative senators are coming out against renewing the Violence Against Women Act, which provides federal funding for domestic violence programs and passed with broad bipartisan support in 1994. Democratic women plan to march to the Senate floor today and demand a quick vote to extend the bill, the New York ... More »

Next Dogfight for Congress: Payroll Taxes

And this time, the outcome could cost you about $1K

(Newser) - Now that the super committee lies in ruins, Congress has another scramble on its hands—what to do about the current payroll tax holiday, which is up Dec. 31, and unemployment benefits, which expire for 2 million people soon after. Failing to extend either could put a serious dent in... More »

Cantor: We Dragged Obama 'Kicking and Screaming'

He claims the president was not leading talks on spending cuts

(Newser) - According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, President Obama had to be dragged “kicking and screaming to the table to cut spending,” he said on Fox News Sunday. Cantor says White House senior adviser David Plouffe is being dishonest in his claim that Obama was the one leading... More »

Kagan Hearings? Let's Doodle Instead

As expected, day 2 produces no bombshells

(Newser) - Elena Kagan had a testy exchange in the morning with Jeff Sessions over her role in military recruiting at Harvard, but day 2 of her Supreme Court nomination hearings has been "rather unilluminating," writes Newsweek . (Though a photo of Al Franken sketching Sessions during the hearings was kind... More »

Kagan Refuses to Discuss Her Legal Views

Sessions grills Supreme Court nominee over military controversy

(Newser) - Elena Kagan began today’s round of confirmation questioning by declaring that it would be inappropriate for her to discuss how she might rule on future Supreme Court cases. That's ironic, the New York Times notes, because Kagan once wrote that confirmation hearings had taken on “an air of... More »

Republicans Bash Thurgood Marshall

Elena Kagan is suspect for link to notorious 'activist judge'

(Newser) - Republicans played the guilt-by-association game at Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing yesterday, slamming the Supreme Court nominee for her ties to… Thurgood Marshall? The revered justice’s name came up 35 times during the first day of the hearing, compared to just 14 for President Obama, the Huffington Post reports,... More »

GOP Struggling for Traction on Kagan as Hearings Begin

'So little oxygen' for opposition, so many distractions

(Newser) - Elena Kagan is in for something of a cakewalk in confirmation hearings that begin today. Republicans still haven’t been able to dig up any real dirt on Obama’s second Supreme Court nominee, the Washington Post reports. Their latest straw grasp: Robert Bork coming out of the woodwork to... More »

GOPers Smell Impeachment in Sestak Job Offer

Repeated calls to Holder to appoint special prosecutor

(Newser) - Republicans are calling for the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Joe Sestak's claims that someone in the Obama administration offered him a high-ranking job to drop out of the Pennsylvania primary race against Arlen Specter. And they've already used the “I” word. “It's very... More »

GOP Won't Rule Out Filibuster on Court Nominee

Jeff Sessions warns president to pick a 'mainstream' candidate

(Newser) - President Obama can avoid a Republican filibuster over his Supreme Court pick by choosing a judge who isn't "outside the mainstream," says Sen. Jeff Sessions, the GOP's ranking member on the Judiciary Committee. Asked on Meet the Press about whether a "big fight" looms, he responded, "... More »

Holder on 9/11 Trial: 'We Need Not Cower'

AG defends decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York

(Newser) - Republicans grilled Eric Holder on Capitol Hill today, criticizing his decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court. But Holder offered a forceful rebuttal, saying, “We need not cower in the face of this enemy. Our institutions are strong and our people are ready.” He added that... More »

Sotomayor Oath to Be Televised

Republicans feel they have dealt a blow to judicial empathy

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in to the Supreme Court on national television tomorrow morning, marking the first time the judicial oath administration has been broadcast, the Washington Post reports. The ceremony will take place at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, following the practice of Samuel Alito, who broke... More »

GOP Looks Tacky in Vote on Sotomayor

(Newser) - Senate Republicans locked arms against Sonia Sotomayor yesterday … or would have, if they’d bothered to stay for the Judiciary Committee’s vote. Instead, half ducked out, leaving Jeff Sessions to repeat “No by proxy,” over and over, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. It was... More »

GOP Delays Sotomayor Vote

(Newser) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today put off its vote on Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination for one week, to July 28, after Republicans asked for a delay. Chairman Patrick Leahy says he is disappointed the Republicans held up the committee's action, but predicts Sotomayor will join the Supreme Court in... More »

Blame Everyone Involved for Shallow Sotomayor Hearings

Dems go lightly; GOP eyes history outside of court

(Newser) - With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation a virtual certainty and her appointment unlikely to change the direction of the Supreme Court, last week's toothless hearings held few surprises. Except, that is, for observers who were hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee would press for substantive Q-and-A, Joan Biskupic writes for USA Today. “... More »

GOP Foresees August Vote on Sotomayor

(Newser) - Republicans cleared the way today for a Senate vote next month to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, placing her firmly in line to become the first Hispanic justice. "I look forward to you getting that vote before we recess in August," said Jeff Sessions, the senior Republican... More »

These Hearings Are All About the Next Nominee

(Newser) - Three days, no bombshells: Sonia Sotomayor is a done deal for the Supreme Court. The humdrum proceedings still have value, however, write Peter Baker and Charlie Savage in the New York Times. It's all about the next nominee, and that could be a much bigger fight. If nothing else, Republicans... More »

Sotomayor: Roe v. Wade Is 'Settled Law'

(Newser) - Questioning is under way on Day 2 of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, and there has already been much talk of New Haven firefighters and wise Latina women. Asked about that infamous quote early on, Sotomayor replied, “I want to state upfront, unequivocally… I do not believe that any racial... More »

Hey GOP: 'White Male' Is an Identity, Too

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation is in the bag, but this week's hearings have a real value, writes Eugene Robinson: They are exposing the Republican Party's "refusal to accept the basic principle of diversity." For the Washington Post columnist, the anger surrounding the judge's "wise Latina" remark rests... More »

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