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January 11, 2017

Hearing begins for Trump’s attorney general nominee

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  • Tuesday saw the beginning of confirmation hearings for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general.
  • Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Sessions on his career and his stance on issues such as Roe vs. Wade, immigration and civil rights.
  • In 1986, accusations of racially insensitive remarks and actions led the Senate to reject Sessions for a federal judgeship. Sessions denied those accusations and said he has supported civil rights cases in the past.
  • The hearing was interrupted regularly by protesters raising an array of concerns, from civil rights to immigration to marijuana policy.
  • When asked how he would proceed if any investigations involving the interests of Trump or his family ever came before him, Sessions said: “I would review it and try to do the right thing as to whether or not it should stay within the jurisdiction of the attorney general or not.”

Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: Why are confirmation hearings held for presidential nominations?
  2. Based on Sen. Jeff Sessions’ responses, how closely do you think he will follow the platforms of President-elect Donald Trump?
  3. Do you think confirmation hearings are an effective way of vetting presidential nominees? Why or why not?
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