Sessions would likely lead a 180-degree turn of the DOJ.
The 69-year-old Sessions has served as U.S. Senator for Alabama for four terms, and has earned a reputation as an unwavering social conservative, stalwart opponent of immigration amnesty, a budget hawk, and an old-school, law-and-order mentality.
The attorney general position is a good fit in this latest Trump-cabinet appointment.
Jeff Sessions was appointed by President Reagan as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama in 1981. After holding this position for 12 years, Reagan nominated Sessions for a lifetime-tenured federal judgeship, but controversial racial remarks prevented his confirmation by the Senate. So he ran a successful campaign for Alabama’ A.G. in 1994, and served for two years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. He was reelected by substantial majorities in 2002, 2008, and in 2014.
Sen. Sessions currently serves in a number of capacities on Senate committees and subcommittees.
In Congress, Sessions has been a champion for tougher laws targeting criminal illegal aliens. A noteworthy bill introduced by Sen. Sessions in 2015 broadened the definition of criminal aliens for several legal purposes and would have, as Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz explained:
- Overturned the Zadvydas v. Davis Supreme Court case that Obama is using as an excuse to release criminal aliens after six months of detention
- Explicitly deputized the states to enforce federal immigration law
- Eliminated sanctuary cities by cutting off DHS and DOJ law enforcement grants
- Expedited deportation of gang members
- Applied the ramifications of treating illegal aliens as criminal aliens to those convicted of drunk driving
- Clamped down on loopholes that allow legal immigrants who commit crimes to continue on the path to citizenship instead of getting deported (this would address cases like the legal immigrant who murdered the family in the Washington, D.C. “mansion murders”)
It is very likely that in his new capacity — should Sessions accept the appointment and be confirmed by the Senate — the Alabama senator will likely lead a 180-degree turn of the Department of Justice, reversing the Obama administration’s policy of enabling sanctuary cities.
As a member on the Senate Judiciary committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions has been an outspoken opponent of several of President Obama’s appointees to the federal bench due to their positions involving the death penalty, immigration, and/or abortion. His leadership on these issues has, at times, led to the withdrawal of Obama’s nominee altogether.
Throughout his career, Sessions has come down on the conservative side of the immigration, abortion, and judicial issues. His appointment to the position of United States attorney general signals that a Donald Trump administration is indeed committed to law and order.