Sessions Confirmation Hearing Today

Today, the senate judiciary committee is holding the first of many confirmation hearings that will occur over the coming weeks. Senator Jeff Sessions, Attorney General designate, is in the hot-seat. I am live tweeting the event at @JCNSeverino with commentary and fact checks. Live coverage can be viewed at

It has been an active morning so far.  The biggest theme that has run throughout the hearings is Sessions’s pledge to enforce laws as written by our elected representatives regardless of whether he thinks they are good policy. Many of his colleagues, including some from across the aisle, remarked about their good working relationship in Congress, and it is easy to see why so many people regard him as a gentleman. The tone of the hearing has been one of civility and courtesy due in no small part to Sessions’s demeanor and candor. His remarks have been responsive and insightful even when addressing questions that were little more than attacks on his character and reputation.

He has also knocked down various straw-man arguments that his Senate colleagues have put forward.

He pledged to stand up to the president and resign if the president insisted that he support an unconstitutional position. He stated that the president could not and should not block all Muslims from immigrating on the basis of their religion.  And he said that he would recuse himself from investigations of Hillary Clinton that he had commented on during the presidential campaign.

The hearing is proceeding smoothly despite various interruptions by protesters.

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More