US Senate approves Jeff Sessions as attorney general

Despite a fierce battle over his human rights record and an attempt by Democrats to block him, the US Senate has confirmed Senator Jeff Sessions as the attorney general.
By Jose Jefferies | Feb 09, 2017
Despite a fierce battle over his human rights record and an attempt by Democrats to block him, the US Senate has confirmed Senator Jeff Sessions as the attorney general. The green light to President Trump's choice came through a 52-47 vote in his favor.

In 1986, Sessions had been rejected by a Senate panel for the position of a Judge over some alleged racist comments he had made. Sessions refuted the perception during last month's hearing confirmation and defended himself, saying that it was not like him to make racist remarks.

"I deeply understand the history of civil rights ... and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of the right to vote has had on our African-American brothers and sisters". Sessions said at the time.

In a bid to block him, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren read a letter written by Coretta King, widow of Martin Luther King Jnr., which criticized his civil rights record.

The letter was written in 1986. Civil rights groups, immigration groups, and Democrats had voiced their concerns over Sessions hard-line positions on race, criminal justice reform, and immigration. Sessions who is a hardliner on issues immigration takes up office at a time lawyers are trying to defend Trump's executive order of temporarily suspending immigrants from 7 Muslim-majority countries from US soil.

Originally from Alabama, Sessions became the 84th attorney general of the US and played a key role in Trump's campaigns and transition to the White House. The 70-year-old was a prosecutor from 1981- 1993 and won his Senate seat in 1996.

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