Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as the next attorney general on Wednesday, after a close vote of 52-47.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) February 9, 2017
The New York Times reported that Sessions’s confirmation was “ferocious even by the standards of moldering decorum that have defined the body’s recent years,” and it “laid bare the Senate’s deep divisions at the outset of the Trump presidency.”
Sessions’s confirmation faced opposition, which peaked on Tuesday when Republicans voted to silence Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren after she started reading a 1986 letter written by the widow of Martin Luther King that criticized Sessions and his civil rights record.
“The awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge,” the letter said about Sessions, who was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama at the time.
As previously reported, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker made history in early January when his vocal opposition to Sessions marked first time in Senate history that a sitting senator testified against another sitting senator for a Cabinet position.
Sessions has also been criticized for his opposition to marijuana legalization. Last April, he said he wished the federal government would do more to fight back against the states that are legalizing it.
“We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say ‘marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger,” Sessions.
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