Jeff Sessions

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The world's oldest 3-year-old.[1]
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I thought those guys [the Ku Klux Klan] were OK until I learned they smoked pot.
…good people don't smoke marijuana.

Jefferson Beauregard[note 1] "Ku Klux Keebler" Sessions III (1946–) is a former United States Senator from Alabama and U.S. Attorney General under Donald Trump. He was born on December 24, 1946 (before the beginning of the civil rights movement, which explains his racist anti-immigrant[5], conservative views). He asked for the resignation of 46 Obama-era U.S attorneys in 2017, including the attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, thus creating a resistance superstar.[6] He was fired by Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, right after Democrats won the House in the midterm elections, and temporarily replaced by Matthew Whitaker, his chief of staff.[7] In 2020, Sessions attempted to regain his old Senate seat, but was soundly defeated in the primary election by political newcomer Tommy Tuberville,[8] by over 20%.

Senator from Alabama[edit]

As a US Senator, he was a far more reliable "conservative extremist" than his former counterpart, Richard Shelby. When Ronald Reagan wanted to make him a federal judge,[note 2] a number of witnesses came forward to say that he had made some truly disgusting racist remarks, such as that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot."[10] Sessions, obviously, is also a proponent of the War on Drugs and said that "good people don't smoke marijuana" on the Senate floor. Racist remarks may be one thing, but deeds are quite another: Sessions basically spent his whole career opposing the Voting Rights Act.[11]

Despite this, he was the head Republican during the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court. During his discussion with her, he found an area of agreement (though he ended up voting against her confirmation) in rationalizing drug sentencing guidelines. However, in the Senate, this came out as he and Senator Patrick Leahy were going to "do that crack cocaine thing".[citation needed]

He is also apparently pro-torture[12] and pro-gang rape, at least as practiced by defense contractors.[13] He has also apparently helped Trump draft his immigration policies.[14]

He also says that it is bad that "mentally retarded" people don't have the death penalty.[15]

Attorney General of the United States[edit]

Jeff Sessions was nominated to be Attorney General of the United States in 2017 by the newly elected President Donald Trump. He was confirmed in the Senate by a 52-47 vote, with people voicing concerns over his racial insensitivity and hostility to civil rights.[16] He immediately ushered in a new era at the Department of Justice. He threatened "sanctuary cities" with loss of federal funding and pushed for a policy of "zero tolerance" for people crossing the U.S.-Mexican border illegally.[16] He decried what he considered to be a crime wave spreading across the country when criminologists insisted that incidents of homicide and assault remained at almost historic lows.[16] He ordered federal prosecutors to seek the most stringent penalties against drug criminals in a stark reversal of a bipartisan policy from Barack Obama.[16]

Criminal Justice[edit]

He ended an Obama-era program to study the efficiency of several forensic techniques which experts from the FBI had championed in an exaggerated manner but other scholars had argued did not provide the benefits that the FBI claimed that they did.[17] One technique under investigation by the scientific program that Sessions ended gave, according to the Justice Department, a 90% rate of “flawed or overstated testimony.” 32 of these cases resulted in the death penalty, of which 14 of those defendants were already dead by 2017. The dismissal of this program also hinders Justice Department efforts to prevent police brutality.

He, following comments from Trump at one of his rallies, instructed prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers, continuing his theme of wanting to expand executions in the United States.[18] Besides going hardcore batshit after dealers of hard drugs, he also tried to go after dispensaries in states where marijuana, medical or otherwise, is legal, leading to him to have a fight with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.[19]

In addition, right before Trump fired him in fall of 2018, Session decided to go after consent decrees which the Obama administration had sat up to deal with local police departments with particularly poor track records of police brutality and other abuses.[20] Basically, he wanted to put the police above the law and independent investigation so that they could railroad and kill anyone they wanted.

Civil Rights policy or lack thereof[edit]

As Attorney General for Trump, Sessions was, like his boss, obsessive when it came to harassing undocument immigrants. However, he melded his boss’s crass and explicit racist talk with the cloak of the religious right and of the cult of “law and order” that the GOP had previously used to cover for their bigotry. In more traditional type of rhetoric, he quoted Paul, referring Romans 13 to justify his inhumane policy, supported by Trump, to separate (primarily Hispanic) immigrant children from their parents at the border:[21] In a speech before law enforcement in 2018, he stated:

I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order…Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.[22]

Sessions was apparently referring to Romans 13:1 ("Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.") Romans 13 has been used previously both as a justification by British loyalists against the American Revolution and by slave owners to justify slavery,[21][23] but the passage has a longer history as a cover for oppression.[23]

In Jeff Sessions’ world, breaking families at the border is not only a reflection of family values, but also “protecting the weak]], though it is unclear who the weak are who need protection from children being with their parents.

Also, keeping with his good southern upbringing, Jeff Sessions literally said, “We need to take away children.”[24] There is no word if Session’s pastor endorses this truly Christian message but considering that he is Methodist, it seems doubtful.

On the Trump administration’s other obsession, Session participated significantly in the witchhunt against trans people. In a 2017 memo, Sessions argued that protections in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act only protects against discrimination based on sex assigned at birth but not gender identity.[25] The Supreme Court did not agree with Session’s viewpoint, ruling in ‘’R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’’ that it does protect gender identity, but arguments like those advanced by Sessions are likely to remain popular for as long as trans rights remain unpopular on the right.[26]

Trump-Russia investigation[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Trump-Russia connection

When Trump fired FBI director James Comey after the latter refused to terminate the ongoing criminal investigation into the former's possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 Presidential election, triggering the appointment of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as Special Counsel, Sessions recused himself, citing a conflict of interest.[16] Thus the responsibility of overseeing the Special Counsel investigation fell to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Sessions maintained that his Department of Justice "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations."[16]

In November 2018, he resigned after being requested by the President, who called him "very weak" and "disgraceful".[7] Trump insisted that Sessions "should have never recused himself."[16] Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, is his acting replacement. Whitaker's responsibilities include the oversight of the ongoing Russia probe. At the time, it was unclear what this meant for Rosenstein, but he ended up surviving for another half of a year before resigning under pressure from Trump.[16][27]

Failed 2020 run for his old Senate seat[edit]

After famous theocrat and pedophile Roy Moore managed to lose Session’s old Senate seat, which he had been reelected with no official opposition,[28] to Democrat Doug Jones in the 2017 special election,[29] Sessions decided to try and take his old seat back.[30] Despite being the former incumbent in this seat, Session’s time in the Trump administration and specifically his falling out with the president had done significant damage to his standing in the GOP; instead of clearing the field, he faced a number of strong contenders for the nomination. Sessions faced not only Moore, but also Congressman Bradley Byrne and football coach Tommy Tuberville.[31] Since no candidate got a majority in the first round of the primary, it went to a runoff.[32] While it would have made sense for Sessions, as the former senator, to have been able to win over the voters from the other eliminated candidates, that all came crashing down when the Supreme Leader of the GOP, Donald Trump, fired off a string of tweets endorsing Tuberville.[33] Sessions lost in a landslide.[34]

The lesson of this story, like many others from this era of the GOP, is that if one sells their “soul” to Donald Trump for thirty pieces of silver, one had better be prepared to do what he says, or else he will seek revenge.

See Also[edit]


  1. He, his father, and his grandfather were all named 'Beauregard' after insurrectionist P. G. T. Beauregard, who led the battle against Fort Sumter.[4]:290
  2. Not only did this not pan out, but Sessions was the first of Reagan's judicial nominations to be denied by the Senate.[9]:157


  1. 10 Things Jeff Sessions Looks Like (June 12, 2017) College Humor (archived from June 15, 2017).
  2. Jeff Sessions’s comments on race: For the record by Michelle Ye Hee Lee (December 2, 2016 at 3:00 a.m. EST) The Washington Post.
  3. Senators held a hearing to remind you that ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana’ (yes, really) by Christopher Ingraham (April 5, 2016 at 2:01 p.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  4. Alabama Getaway: The Political Imaginary and the Heart of Dixie by Allen Tullos (2011) University of Georgia Press. ISBN 082033961X.
  5. 100% USBC rating
  7. 7.0 7.1 Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions. BBC News. November 7, 2018.
  8. Jeff Sessions Loses Comeback Bid For Alabama Senate Seat. NPR, 14 July 2020.
  9. The Clothes Have No Emperor: A Chronicle of the American 80s by Paul Slansky
  10. [1]
  11. Jeff Sessions Has Spent His Whole Career Opposing Voting Rights by Ari Berman (January 10, 2017) The Nation.
  12. For the record
  13. Voted Against Al Franken's KBR Reining in amendment, which specifically prohibited the US government from using contractors that had a contract clause preventing themselves from being sued if their employee was raped.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 Jeff Sessions Forced Out As Attorney General After Constant Criticism From Trump. NPR. November 7, 2018.
  18. Laura Jarrett, [2]. CNN, 21 March 2018.
  19. Christopher Ingraham, [3]. ‘’The Washington Post’’, 13 June 2017.
  20. Katie Benner, [4]. ‘’The New York Times, 8 November 2018.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families by Julie Zauzmer & Keith McMillan (June 15, 2018 at 5:49 AM) The Washington Post.
  22. Richard Gonzales, [5]. NPR, 14 June 2018.
  23. 23.0 23.1 The Fight to Define Romans 13Jeff Sessions used it to justify his policy of family separation, but he’s not the first to invoke the biblical passage. by Lincoln Mullen (June 15, 2018, 10:25 AM ET) The Atlantic.
  24. Michael D Shear, Katie Benner, and Michael S Schmidt, [6]. ‘’The New York Times’’, 3 May 2021.
  25. Julie Moreau, [7]. NBC, 5 October 2017.
  26. Joan Biskupic, [8]. CNN, 28 July 2020.
  27. Lauren Gambino,[]. ‘’The Guardian’’, 29 April 2019.
  28. Jim Stinson, [9]., 06 March 2019.
  29. Andrew Buncombe Roy Moore loses to Doug Jones in humiliating Senate result for Donald Trump., December 13, 2017.
  30. Jeff Sessions Loses Comeback Bid For Alabama Senate Seat. NPR, 14 July 2020.
  31. Niles Francis, Super Tuesday Down the Ballot: AL-SEN & CA-25. Center for Politics, 03 March 2020.
  32. Jeff Sessions Loses Comeback Bid For Alabama Senate Seat. NPR, 14 July 2020.
  33. Nicholas Wu, [10]. ‘’USA Today’’, 14 July 2020.
  34. Jeff Sessions Loses Comeback Bid For Alabama Senate Seat. NPR, 14 July 2020.