Politico

The Case for Jeff Sessions

Written by Lisa

Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be the 84th attorney general of the United States is fantastic news for those who revere the rule of law. For the past four years, I have had the pleasure of serving alongside Sessions in the Senate, where we worked closely together on both the Judiciary and Armed Services Committees. Having witnessed his integrity and passion for law enforcement firsthand, I have confidence that Sessions will be a superb attorney general.

Senator Sessions’ credentials are impressive. A former U.S. attorney and Alabama attorney general, he has ably represented the citizens of Alabama on Capitol Hill for the past 20 years, specializing in law-enforcement issues and earning tremendous respect among the hardworking men and women in blue across our great land. Few people could be considered more qualified than Sessions for the daunting task of leading our country’s largest and most influential law-enforcement agency. But Sessions’ impressive résumé alone is not why I endorse him.

I support Senator Sessions for attorney general for the very reason that many vehemently oppose him. Namely, I—and they—know that Sessions will enforce the law. The fact that this is controversial tells you all you need to know about the sorry intellectual state of our country’s elites, especially in the legal academy and federal bureaucracies. Senator Sessions believes in the foundational idea that we are governed by objectively knowable, written rules, and that we should not be subject to the interpretive whims of unelected, power-hungry bureaucrats. Sessions will instill this belief at the Department of Justice.

That’s a welcome change from the past eight years.

The Obama Department of Justice openly ignored the laws it didn’t like. While Senator Sessions condemned so-called sanctuary cities, the Obama DOJ funneled hundreds of millions in grant money to them—despite these cities’ brazen refusal to abide by our country’s immigration laws—and it endangered Americans all over the country by itself repeatedly refusing to enforce these laws. Furthermore, the Obama DOJ routinely preferred to act as a quasi-legislature, attempting to rewrite straightforward laws—and even the Constitution itself—to fit its radical agenda, as when the DOJ had the temerity to argue before the Supreme Court that the First Amendment could be interpreted to allow the government to dictate to a church which ministers it could hire and fire. This startling position was rejected by all nine Supreme Court justices, including the two appointed by President Barack Obama. And this was a trend, not a glitch: In stark contrast to his predecessors, Obama lost more than half of his cases at the Supreme Court, including nearly 50 unanimous rulings.

The Obama Justice Department has been comically corrupt. From trying to shut down lawful businesses through Operation Choke Point, to funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to leftist activist groups like the National Council of La Raza, to Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting with former President Bill Clinton on an Arizona tarmac while his wife was under FBI investigation, the DOJ has sunk to extraordinary depths. And Senator Sessions has been there every step of the way, exposing the seedy underbelly of the administration.

I strongly encourage my colleagues to embrace Senator Sessions as attorney general. Indeed, finding a candidate whose temperament and integrity are more suited to the job would be difficult, even if you disagree with him on what the substance of the law should be.

But here’s the kicker. Many of Sessions’ opponents actually believe the Justice Department does not need reform. To them, the lawlessness is a feature, not a bug. President Obama—and Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch—did not mess things up, in this view. Rather, they successfully transformed the DOJ from a law enforcement agency to yet another law “enhancement” agency. To them, Sessions is a threat because of his impartial commitment to the rule of law.

Over the next several days, you will see numerous vile efforts to smear Senator Sessions’ good name. His opponents will dredge up the bogus, discredited attacks made against him at his judicial confirmation hearing 30 years ago. There will be attempts to re-litigate the presidential campaign. People will bring up votes Sessions has taken over the past 20 years with which they disagree—and this last bit will be the most telling.

Trying to taint Senator Sessions with any past votes should be an irrelevant exercise, given that he is being considered for a post that requires him to enforce existing laws, whether he supported their passage or not. Sessions undoubtedly has the integrity to enforce laws he doesn’t personally agree with and to stay within proper bounds on laws he does agree with.

But again, that’s actually what scares some people about an Attorney General Jeff Sessions: He’s a law-and-order devotee about to enter a lawless DOJ. If I were them—if I wanted to keep DOJ as a partisan agency unbound by law—I’d be scared, too.

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Lisa

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