More on the Rejection of Sessions 23 Years Ago
by Jonathan Singer, Sat May 09, 2009 at 02:21:45 PM EDT
Earlier this week I noted how 23 years ago the Senate Judiciary Committee, then controlled by the Republicans, rejected the incoming ranking member on the panel, GOP Senator Jeff Sessions, for a federal judgeship due to racial insensitivities. The good folks over at TPM have dug up some more on Sessions background in the form of this CBS News report from two decades ago:
As noted by Bob Schieffer in the report above, the rejection of Sessions was an historic moment, marking only the second time in 49 years that the Senate Judiciary Committee formally voted down a nominee for the federal bench. What made the move even more noteworthy was that it came at a time when the Republicans, not the opposition Democrats, were in control of the panel. Indeed, two Republican Senators (Arlen Specter and Charles Mathias), as well as conservative Alabama Democratic Senator Howell Hefflin, opposed Sessions in committee.
This is the man the Republicans have chosen to lead their efforts in evaluating and potentially (if not likely) opposing the President's Supreme Court nominee: A man even the Republican Party found too radical two decades ago. An interesting move, to say the least, for a party trying to convince the nation that it hasn't gone off the ideological deep end.