The Obama administration, in fact, was aware of Sessions' "secret" and held it over his head to ensure he did not block the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a report at Wayne Madsen Report (WMR). The White House had similar information on U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and was prepared to use it in a similar fashion.
Sessions and Graham had voiced strong opposition to Sotomayor's nomination, but that changed when the White House made it known that it was willing to unload the "G bomb" on both conservative senators if they sought to block her. From the WMR article, titled "The Democratic not-so-secret secret 'nuclear option' on Sotomayor nomination" and dated June 5-7, 2009. Sotomayor was confirmed on August 6, 2009, with only modest opposition from the GOP. From WMR:
Although there were some initial reservations among progressives over the nomination of U.S. judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace the outgoing David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court, progressives are reassured that Sotomayor, while not an activist in the mold of William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, is a staunch supporter of First and Fourth Amendment rights, including the right to privacy. Sotomayor's opinions on freedom of speech cases is also earning her praise from progressives.
Although ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and his committee colleague Lindsey Graham (R-SC) originally voiced strong reservations about President Obama's choice of Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, both conservative "family values" Republicans have had to back down from their original high visibility hostility to Sotomayor.
One of the reasons for the Republicans' change in demeanor is that Democratic opposition research made it known they were ready to pounce on both senators, re-elected in 2008, for hypocrisy on their gay rights policies.
What exactly does that mean? It means the president, contrary to his "No Drama Obama" persona, was willing to play political hardball (of the hardest kind) to get Sotomayor confirmed. That's because opposition research from Democrats proved to be quite fruitful. WMR provides details:
WMR learned from a very well-informed source that it is well known among gay circles in Washington that Sessions and Graham are both closeted homosexuals. Sessions is married with three children while Graham is a bachelor who has never been married.
Sessions and Graham are aware that the Democrats have at their disposal the nuclear option of dropping the "G Bomb." After seeming to agree with the "Sotomayor is a racist" remarks coming from Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, the two influential Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee changed their tune, as did Gingrich a few days after he made his remarks about Sotomayor.
Sessions reported homosexuality fits a pattern for GOP Attorneys General in the state. Sessions, who served as Alabama's 44th Attorney General, was succeeded by William H. Pryor, Jr, now a member of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and who, according to WMR's sources, is also a closeted gay man. Pryor was succeeded by Republican Troy King, also reported by a number of sources to be gay.
That last paragraph should pack quite a wallop for readers who live in Alabama. It suggests the state's attorney general's office has become a haven for closeted gays. And Madsen's reporting on U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, a likely Trump nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court because of his ties to Sessions, is in line with our reports about Pryor's ties to 1990s gay pornography via the badpuppy.com Web site, which has morphed into an online "gay-porn superstore."
I know firsthand that Madsen has solid sources in Alabama.
Why is the "G bomb" of particular concern for Sessions and Graham? WMR explains:
As the GOP drifts further under the control of the fundamentalist Christian right, any hint of homosexuality among top Republicans in Congress is seen as a political death sentence, especially after the Larry Craig and Mark Foley scandals. Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist also faces potential major opposition from Christian fundamentalists in his U.S. Senate run over rumors that he is also gay.
Another influential Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), said it was likely that Sotomayor will be confirmed by the Senate. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), not a member of the Judiciary Committee, voiced some misgivings about Sotomayor. Hatch is treading carefully while Collins is potentially playing with political fire. Both have to watch their own "closet doors," according to our sources on Capitol Hill.
As Sessions confirmation hearing winds down today, we suspect his mind very much will be on a closet door that he wants to keep slammed shut.
We sought comment from Sessions, via both the contact page on his Web site and his spokesperson, Sarah Isgur Flores. No one responded to our queries