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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jeff Sessions is a World-Class Hypocrite on Matters of Politics and Justice

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been front and center this week at the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing, repeatedly stating that politics and personal feelings must be kept out of the justice system.

But a recent article at mainjustice.com shows that Sessions has no problem interjecting his own politics and personal feelings into the justice system. In fact, Sessions' personal feelings and biases are having a profound impact on the search for a new U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Alabama.

In his opening statement at the Sotomayor confirmation hearing, Sessions states that "impartiality" is at the heart of his vision for the justice system:

Down one path is the traditional American legal system, so admired around the world, where judges impartially apply the law to the facts without regard to their own personal views. . . .

Down the other path lies a Brave New World where words have no true meaning and judges are free to decide what facts they choose to see. In this world, a judge is free to push his or her own political and social agenda. I reject this view.

Does Sessions keep his own political and social agenda out of behind-the-scenes activities related to the justice system? Not exactly.

Mainjustice.com reports that Sessions played a leading role in rejecting Michel Nicrosi, of Mobile, for the U.S. attorney post in Alabama's Middle District, based in Montgomery.

Nicrosi was the No. 1 choice of a committee headed by U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), the state's senior congressional Democrat. Considering that the appointment will be made by a Democratic administration, one might think the Davis committee would win the day.

But Jeff Sessions had other ideas. Did his political and personal biases play a part in the decision to fight the Nicrosi appointment? Oh yes, reports mainjustice.com.

According to the Sessions world view, Nicrosi had several strikes against her:

* She had successfully defended a top aide to former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman against racketeering charges;

* Nicrosi had spoken out forcefully against a Bush-appointed U.S. attorney named David York, who became embroiled in a sex scandal.

* There is bad blood between Nicrosi and one of Sessions' close friends and proteges, a gentleman named Richard Moore. Here is how mainjustice.com describes the situation:

In the 1990s, Clinton-appointed U.S. Attorney Don Foster in the Southern District of Alabama chose Nicrosi over Moore to head the office’s criminal division. Moore was a prosecutor in the office who’d been hired by Sessions. Then as criminal division chief, Nicrosi required prosecutors to create standard plea bargain language and write prosecution memos--professional practices that the office had neglected, say people familiar with the Southern District. The extra work load didn’t sit well with some veterans in the office, the people say.

Is Jeff Sessions a petty, vindictive little man who can let his own biases rule the day? Consider a written statement, titled "The Grandfather of Political Prejudice in Alabama," released yesterday from Don Siegelman:

At least one Republican on the Senate Judiciary is playing hard ball with President Obama’s nominations. The new minority leader on the Senate Judiciary Committee is Alabama’s Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. I ask, "What moral ground gives Senator Sessions the right to berate Sotomayor because she believes her background as a minority makes her even more qualified to serve on the Supreme Court?"

Sessions is the man who once said, “I thought the Klu Klux Klan was a pretty good group of guys until I heard they smoked pot.” Jeff Beauregard Sessions has always been on the wrong side of justice.

Jeff Sessions used his position as U.S. Attorney to go after Alabama black political activists to suppress black voter turnout. The FBI under Sessions direction rounded up black activists, loaded them on a bus with a state trooper escort, had them finger printed, photographed and made to give a hand writing sample. Sessions put a retired school teacher, Julia Wilder, in Alabama’s only maximum security prison for women at the age of 72 because she went door to door encouraging her neighbors to vote--and if they were going to be out of town, she arranged for them to get an absentee ballot!

That's the same Jeff Sessions who is now a road block to President Obama’s choice for the U. S. Supreme Court.

Siegelman is not the only Alabamian to speak out about Sessions. In an article at AfterDowningStreet.org., Alabama attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson questions whether Sessions has the moral standing to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Simpson discusses her personal knowledge of some missing GOP records that might have curious connections to Jeff Sessions.

The bottom line? Jeff Sessions might be saying one thing for the cameras this week at the Sotomayor hearings. But substantial evidence indicates he acts in a wholly different manner when the cameras are turned off.

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