At least two prominent Alabama Republicans in recent days have made statements hinting that liberals blocked Sessions ascension to a federal judgeship after he had been nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. The truth, however, is that Republicans controlled the U.S. Senate at the time, and they controlled the Senate Judiciary Committee that rejected Sessions.
Heck, the committee chairman was Strom Thurmond (R-SC). If you are too racist for Strom Thurmond, that's pretty powerful stuff.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) is practicing a campaign of deceit on behalf of Sessions. Here is her comment from an article at Alabama Political Reporter (APR):
Rep. Roby said, “You know, we’ve seen these attacks before. Washington liberals kept Senator Sessions from an appointment to the federal bench during the Reagan Administration using these same tactics. . . . "
Roby, of course, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Sessions in the Senate, so it's little wonder she is willing to con the public in an effort to push his confirmation as AG. She's thinking "career move, career move!"
Bill Armistead joined Roby in piling on the barnyard feces. From APR:
Former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said on social media, “The liberal media and Democrats don’t want you to read the Weekly Standard because people will find out that Sen. Jeff Sessions is not a racist as they are making him out to be. They KNOW he’s not but that’s the only thing they can fabricate to accuse him of since his conservative voting record can’t be attacked. So they play the race card every time a conservative is put up for something in hopes of bringing them down. This time they will not succeed! They played the race card on him in 1986 after President Reagan nominated him to a federal judgeship. This will not work again.
Well, Mr. Armistead, it worked once because members of your party, Republicans, directed a process that concluded Jeff Sessions' history of racist remarks and actions made him unsuitable for the bench. And you, a Republican, look pretty stupid accusing someone else of playing the "race card." From a report at Democracy Now!
Sessions [once] was in the seat of the nominee. President Ronald Reagan had nominated Jeff Sessions to be a US district judge in 1986. At that time, Reagan had already appointed some 200 judges throughout the federal system, and Republicans held the majority on committee.
But Sessions became only the second man in fifty years to not be recommended for confirmation. Two Republicans, including Arlen Specter, voted against him. His fellow senator from Alabama, Howell Heflin, also voted against him, citing, quote, “reasonable doubts” over Sessions’ ability to be “fair and impartial.”
The comments from Roby and Armistead tell us two things:
(1) Republicans of 2016, unlike some of their predecessors from 30 years ago, are fundamentally dishonest;
(2) When postmodern Republicans have nothing of substance to say, which is much of time, all they can do is whip out the word "liberal" as if it were a curse word.
No wonder Republicans nominated a buffoon like Donald Trump. They don't have the intellectual capacity and integrity to govern -- and Trump fits into their dysfunctional orbit perfectly.
At the link below is a transcript of the Sessions hearings from 1986. You will notice the committee contains such "liberal stalwarts" as Alan Simpson (Wyoming), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Charles Grassley (Iowa), Jeremiah Denton (Alabama), Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), and Mitch McConnell (Kentucky). You also will notice that Republicans on the committee outnumber Democrats, 10-8. And the chairman is that paragon of liberality, Strom Thurmond (South Carolina).
This all tells us that Roby and Armistead are stupid, lazy, or practitioners of con artistry. I would suggest they likely are all three.
Senate Judiciary Hearing on Jeff Sessions' nomination for federal judgeship, 1986: