Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is giving his two cents about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, but given his background on race relations, he has zero credibility in attacking her record, no matter how razor-thin.Sessions, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is seeking to capitalize on Ms. Kagan’s role in prohibiting military recruiting on Harvard’s campus during her tenure as dean of the law school. During an interview on “This Week” he called her actions “no little-bitty matter.” He further insisted that Kagan was not only wrong in her decision, but she broke the law. Wow, what a hypocrite. He violated the civil rights of blacks and guess what? He’s now a senator.
Asked about the issue by host Jake Tapper, Sessions said, “This is no little-bitty matter, Jake. She would not let them come to the area that does the recruiting on the campus. They had to meet with some student veterans, and this is not acceptable. It was a big error,” he said. “That went on for a number of years. It was a national issue. People still remember the debate about it.”“She reversed the policy. When she became dean, they were allowing the military to come back on campus and had been for a couple of years,” Sessions said.
Sessions strongly disagreed with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “She disallowed them from the normal recruitment process on campus. She went out of her way to do so,” he told Tapper. “She was a national leader in that, and she violated the law of the United States at various points in the process.”
The controversy revolves around Kagan’s decision to prohibit military recruiting directly on the law school’s campus because the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, prohibiting gays from openly serving in the armed forces, violated Harvard Law School’s anti-discrimination policy. When the Supreme Court ruled that a law tying federal funding of schools to military recruiting was constitutional, Kagan allowed military recruiting on campus on Harvard again so the school wouldn’t lose funding. Source: ABC Political Punch
I am very disappointed with President Obama’s decision to pick Kagan, but I find harsh comments from people like Jeff Sessions as hypocritical on so many levels. Seems to me that he is chewing some sour grapes over his owned failed confirmation as a district judge in 1986. I blogged about Jeff Sessions during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Here’s an excerpt from the article I wrote, Senator Jeff Sessions, With a Questionable Racist Past, Becomes the GOP’s Point-Man for Confirmation Hearings for Next Supreme Court Justice:
J. Gerald Hebert, a career Justice Department lawyer, gave testimony that doomed his nomination. He testified that Sessions had once called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” He also said that they “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” He sealed his own fate by saying such groups could be construed as “un-American” when “they involve themselves in promoting un-American positions” in foreign policy. He is said to have made remarks that he thought the Ku Klux Klan wasn’t so bad until he found out that some of them smoked marijuana. He said these comments were made in jest. Right.
Still, there’s more throwback theater on Sessions. He had unsuccessfully prosecuted three civil rights workers, known as the “Marion Three,” including Albert Turner, who was a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., on a case of election fraud for the 1984 election. He spent a long time interrogating black voters in predominantly black counties, finding 14 allegedly tampered ballots out of approximately 1.7 million ballots cast. The three civil rights workers were acquitted after four hours of jury deliberation. Civil rights groups charged that Sessions had been looking for voter fraud in the black community while overlooking the same violations among whites, at least partly to help reelect his friend Senator Denton.
So, while I dislike Elena Kagan because of her lack of experience on judicial matters and her abysmal hiring practices at Harvard Law School, I abhor even more any statements Sen. Sessions can make about any candidate for the Supreme Court. It’s “no little-bitty matter” his racist past, like Sen. Robert Byrd, followed him into the Senate. He’s a closet racist whose can’t seem to get over the fact that his racist rhetoric caused him a judgeship in Alabama. This is one incumbent who needs to be kicked out of office.