(The Daily Signal) President Barack Obama’s first attorney general pick skated through Senate confirmation hearings, but top Democrats have indicated that President-elect Donald Trump’s selection may have a tougher time getting through.
Ahead of the confirmation hearing Tuesday for Trump’s attorney general designee, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, brought up issues that prevented Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., from becoming a federal judge three decades ago.
Jeff Sessions is “wonderful to work with,” @SenatorLeahy said.
“Now that he is nominated to be attorney general, we will see if the same person is still too extreme for Republicans,” Leahy said in a Boston Globe op-ed Sunday, later adding, “Sen. Sessions has repeatedly stood in the way of efforts to promote and protect Americans’ civil rights.”
It’s a departure from what Leahy said of Sessions in 2009, when both men voted to confirm Obama’s controversial nominee, Eric Holder, to be attorney general.
“Sen. Sessions is also a former U.S. attorney and knows what one goes through in that regard, and we’ve relied on him for that experience,” Leahy said to his colleague during the Holder confirmation hearing in January 2009, according to the Washington Examiner.
In June 2010, Leahy called Sessions “wonderful to work with,” the Examiner reported.
The Sessions confirmation hearing could shape up differently from the Holder hearing of eight years earlier. Despite a controversial legal career in the public and private sector, Holder had a smooth ride to office, gaining the support of most Republicans.
By contrast, the confirmation process for Sessions has been rocky even before the first day of hearings.