U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) attends a meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Capitol Hill, November 29, 2016 in Washington, DC.

On Tuesday the Senate plans to hold its confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for United States attorney general. The longtime Alabama senator faces criticism for having prosecuted civil rights activists and for his frequent opposition to immigration reforms like paths to citizenship and visa programs for foreign workers. But his supporters say Sessions brings strong experience to the role: he’s been a senator for 20 years and served as a U.S. attorney and as the attorney general for Alabama. We take a closer look at Sessions’ background and at his potential appointment as head of the Department of Justice.

Who is U.S. Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions? 9 January,2017Ray Suarez

Guests:
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Robert Driscoll, managing partner, McGlinchey Stafford; former deputy assistant general, U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division
Jesselyn McCurdy, deputy director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
Carrie Johnson, justice correspondent, NPR

  • wandagb

    Sessions is the most intelligent voice on immigration in all of Congress. Here, for example, is a view on the impact upon American workers shared by Bernie Sanders:

    Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have become the odd couple of the immigration reform debate.
    Until Thursday’s Senate session on the immigration reform bill, the most outspoken defender of American workers against low-wage foreign competition had been the Alabama Republican.

    .. full-throated condemnation of guest worker programs which he condemns as a betrayal of American workers.
    Those programs, Sanders said, are “being widely abused by employers throughout this country” who push for cheap-labor favors like those included in the immigration reform bill.
    “At a time when nearly 13 percent of the American people do not have a full-time job, at a time when the middle class continues to disappear, and at a time when tens of millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, it makes no sense to me that the immigration reform bill includes a massive increase in temporary guest worker programs that will allow large corporations to import and bring into this country hundreds of thousands of temporary blue-collar and white-collar guest workers from overseas.”

    http://cis.org/kammer/sanders-and-sessions-odd-couple-immigration-debate

    • William – SF

      Nice try … wrapping Senator Sanders in with Sessions. That’s a very narrow view of Jeff Sessions who’s actions speak racial hatred, a zealous support of the death penalty even for insane, mentally ill and intellectually disabled people, among other egregious opinions of LGBT Americans.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/opinion/jeff-sessions-as-attorney-general-an-insult-to-justice.html
      http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/08/opinion/what-are-you-hiding-jeff-sessions.html
      http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/08/opinion/jeff-sessions-the-grim-reaper-of-alabama.html

      • Kevin Skipper

        I missed that part but I must say, Bernie, like Barry is VERY careful NOT to suggest any interest in programs that will help ANY of us Melanated Peoples unless we are also, single mothers, queer, or sellouts willing to depict our own people as bumbling, lazy, overfed minstrels.

        They agree in that they are instrumental central keystones in an ongoing policy of inaction when it comes to actually serving communities of color (men included). It’s a low level, quiet, racist war on social. Ensures a dependent class against which our bank owned government writes it’s losses.

        • William – SF

          And one can always fall back on the alternative Trump or Sessions to step up and offer …what? And President Obama’s just-say-no Republican congress offered to help do what for us Melanated Peoples? They couldn’t even get behind a bill to support same pay for women as men in Obama’s first term.

          http://www.blackenterprise.com/featured-stories/president-obamas-positive-track-record-for-helping-african-americans/

          • Kevin Skipper

            That’s a fair question.

            I have here a collection of Tavis Smiley and Steve Harvey videos on this exact subject.

            http://www.betcomedyhour/Harvey/smiley-in-conversation-with-wendy-williams.vid.com

            Just kidding. I’ll check out the article.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Interesting article. I like how it seamlessly equates ‘Black Issues’ with ‘Povery Issues’ then proceeds to enumerate the individual political tenents of the nominal measurements taken to address the two as their own achievements. Like Obama’s election, it was hopeful but proves yet another paid ad for liberal foot dragging to address a worsening climate of racial revisionism.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Just heard a quote of then Senator Jeff Sessions calling the NAACP Communist and Unamerican. Score one for the GOP!

  • Dana Garcia

    It’s odd to see some black Americans objecting to Sen. Sessions appointment as AG, since they would be the top beneficiaries of tough immigration enforcement. Many decent paying blue-collar jobs that once were available to blacks are now taken by illegal aliens who work cheap. Remember supply and demand?

  • Kurt thialfad

    He reminds me of Henry Gibson from Laugh In.

  • Mason Gibb

    I believe the NAACP is calling him by his full name, Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III. Show some respect, Forum!

    • jurgispilis

      Jefferson Beauregard.

  • jurgispilis

    Looks like a one sided, unbalanced guest list. These are all civil rights attorneys. But you forgot to include the SPLC.
    Will you talk about Session’s support of the findings of the Jordan
    Commission?

    • Noelle

      sounds like Robert Driscoll is pro-Sessions.

      • jurgispilis

        my bad.

  • jakeleone

    Sessions has been an intelligent voice on immigration. But, will his role as Attorney General really matter much in the area of immigration?

    His legal experience will be helpful as Attorney General, but I don’t see how his immigration knowledge will really play a big role.

  • Noelle

    Legalized marijuana advocates probably are worried.

    • Kevin Skipper

      We’re dealing with it smokily. Should be known that California’s own cannabis policy was carefully built on a precedent of preexisting race-based barriers to access in a competitive industry. Cannabis is essentially a debate over bow best to use each state’s KKK-owned land.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Theres nothing wrong with Sessions. He’s a Roots cinservstivey

  • Another Mike

    The NAACP opposed George W. Bush’s choice for Attorney General, Senator John Ashcroft, as well.
    Interesting to hear that Jeff Sessions biggest sins were committed well over 30 years ago. Is there no statute of limitations for acts committed by Republicans? I remember the Democrats forgave Senator Robert Byrd for being a leader in the Ku Klux Klan.

    Great to hear Ray Suarez again, by the way. His voice sounds slightly different though. Talk of the Nation should have given him his old microphone when he left.

  • Another Mike

    Regarding the Violence Against Women Act. We all know that the federal government has limited powers. The police power resides with the states. The federal government has no general police power, except in federal enclaves like DC. Thus violence against anyone — man or woman, boy or girl — is the responsibility of individual states.

    • Kevin Skipper

      The act will, like WAFA, will allow the government to expand policies that abridge individual rights and privacy in favor of lipservice to protecting (drawing into their ideological fold) women from the communities who’s growth that would like to limit. More than ever, it will be used to promote inequality, polarization and conflict between men and women. Yet another destabilization campaign in a war on freedom.

  • Ben Rawner

    The argument that because his fellow senators worked makes him not a racist does not make sense. His voting record shows that he has sided with racism, sexism and inequality.

    My question is what does your panel think Sessions will do about the states that have recently legalized marijuana for recreational use?

  • Die.Leit

    A number of the complaints delineated by the extreme left-wing guests consist merely of different political positions. This is a favorite approach of marxists and fascists – preventing another political viewpoint for violating one’s own self-sanctified view. If one adheres to the written law, one is acting according to the law. The idea that Sessions objected to Kagan and Sotomayor appointments could be compared to anyone who objected to Robert Bork. The left must accept that its unproven conclusions, e.g., about any benefits generated by (its view of) diversity are not shared by all thinking persons. Failing to share opinions does not disqualify a person from office.

    • Kevin Skipper

      I like your use of the word ‘fascist.’
      Known domestically as ‘Liberal Progressive’ a doubly redundant, mendacious term.

  • Robert Thomas

    The most shocking news story of 2015 was evinced by Eastern seaboard journalists after the murders committed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charlotte: their own surprise and disbelief that there were still white supremacists in the Southern U.S.

    • Kevin Skipper

      Shocking, I’m sure but not enough to question yet another juicy story of the vicious abuse helpless, church-going, dialect speaking, single-minded raised, Infamil-nursed, welfare fed captive “Blacks” (in the liberal news, we’re not referred to as Black ‘People’).

      What has been the result of the reaction to that church massacre story? White guilt, black suffering and public impotence.

      • Another Mike

        Dylann Ruf’s loser life would tend to destroy any belief in white supremacy.

        • Kevin Skipper

          That’s the whole point. It creates a lone gunman lunatic to suggest, “THIS is the face of White Supremacy. As you can see from this pathetic example, it no longer exists.” As if global racism never grew up, went to college and got itself as few nice suits…

          That’s a lie. White Supremacy is now represented by a refined set of communications sciences employed CHEIFLY by global media and educational institutions like ‘public’ radio and the established funds that provide their grants and endowments.

      • Robert Thomas

        The most prominent result, as I say, is the stark example of the way in which established Eastern seaboard media had by 2015 come to swallow the idea of a “post-racial” Southern U.S, and a “post-racial” U.S. society.

        • Kevin Skipper

          We ARE post-racial. Refinements have made it so that anyone of any color, gender or orientation has the right to fight for White Supremacist Patriarchy and all it entails.

  • Kevin Skipper

    As long as we’re talking about party records on civil rights, perhaps we can question the assumption that liberals have been somehow bending over backwards to protect peoples right to vote.

    • amyj1276

      In fairness, they have been trying, but have been continuously blocked by republican legislatures, a republican obstructionist Congress, and a thus-far conservative supreme court.

      • Kevin Skipper

        Right. To be sure, Dems played no part in making sure to thrown the last election by fueling the effective media fleecing (thanks AP, Twitter, NPR, Google) and informational disarmament of their own constituency.

        Special thanks to ExxonMobil, Carnegie, Kellogg, Rockafeller Na Hearst for their financial breastfeeding of this ever-growing monster.

      • Kevin Skipper

        Really Amy? I just posted a group of comments proving that im willing to look outside my assigned stall on gender issues. I’m saddened o see that we.must now trudge the dame oath to explain to you that the supposed left will effort to fight for Melanated People has been based in the same joke as the ine suggesting that women are getting a cake walk followed by a cushy chair in which to breastfeed.
        In fairness, you can’t allow liberals to blame Republicans for obstructing what proves to be willingly feelble attempts put forth by the very parties that have benefitted the MOST from unequal opportunities and access to social resources.
        Is it really that hard for you to see the connection?

  • amyj1276

    It is an incredibly horrifying and terrifying time to be raising a daughter in this country.

    • Another Mike

      Because she is more likely to go to college than a son? More likely to be employed than a man? Have the richest choice of careers — ever? Will have total freedom over whether or not to have a child? And be able to raise any child independently from a husband?

      This is the greatest time to be female in American history.

      • amyj1276

        Spoken like someone with [likely] white, male privilege who has zero insight, knowledge, or perspective of what women go through and how every small nuance of the law impacts our daily lives. Sure, in some areas female enrollment is starting to equal male enrollment in college. But in a good 80-90 percent of the country, women are still expected to be married and have babies by their early 20s. I don’t know where you got the idea that women have the “richest” choice of careers. Even when women ARE advancing in their fields, they are still paid a fraction of what men are paid. And forget any idea of challenging that, especially under a republican administration. And freedom over whether or not to have a child?? Are you serious? Perhaps you haven’t heard about the wars against PP, against women in general, and against reproductive rights that have been waging for almost the last decade. You might want to look them up. Is it the “greatest” time to be female in American history? Maybe. But that’s not saying much considering that we are still light years behind the rest of the civilized, developed first world, and frankly, much of the developing world. We’ve had many advances in the last 30 years, but make no mistake, for every step forward we make we’re taking 2 steps back. The November election will set us back a half century. Sorry, Mike, but you have no idea what you’re talking about here. I truly hope that you don’t have daughters.

        • Kevin Skipper

          I agree. Maleness and Whiteness have been effective amnesia pills for those who can be unaware thatmost, in our society, most people are seen as property. Baby makers. Food stamp consumers. Seat fillers. Assets/Liabilities. In that model we all lose. There’s no room in it for humanity.

        • Another Mike

          I don’t know how far from the nearest paved road you live, but it must be pretty far. Here in the Bay Area, if I see a woman get married when she is still in her 20s, it’s unusual. And I know several women — from Millennials to Boomers — who decided they wanted children even though they never wanted husbands. Luckily marriage is not a prerequisite for child support.

          • Kevin Skipper

            You’re from the old school. I can respect that. At the same time, paved roads (or manicured, gated communities) are no longer a sign of elevated awareness and morals. Women shouldering the bulk of financial and family care responsibility does NOT suggest some unprecedented process on the part of women. In fact, it’s the opposite. Women’s Liberation has long been an byword for Compulsory Orthodoxy and Adherence to exploitative, patriarchal ideals.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Well, that conversation ended interestingly…

          • Another Mike

            The average age for an American woman to have her first child is now 26 years and 4 months, according to the CDC (2014) and the average age for an American woman to marry is 27 (2013) according to a study made by the University of Virginia.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Average percentage of college age women who have been sexually assaulted, 25%.

          • Another Mike

            I couldn’t figure how she could be so wrong regarding all of her assertions about women’s lives today, unless she lived in a very rural area.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Liberal “thought.” ‘Education’ in the art of contextual forgetfulness.

        • Another Mike

          Gender imbalance in higher education, from the Washington Post, March 26, 2014.
          “For 35 years, women have outnumbered men in American colleges. Federal data show that female students became the majority in 1979 and for the past decade have accounted for about 57 percent of enrollment at degree-granting institutions.”

          According to the International Labor Organization, “the overall unemployment rate for [American] women is lower than men’s and they are also less likely to be among the long-term unemployed.”

          • amyj1276

            Oh, poor Mike. Yes, because women are much easily hired as house cleaners and across the low-paying service industry than are men. Of course women’s unemployment is low. Many are working 3 jobs to try to feed their families. Again, you should really educate yourself on these issues before typing.

          • Another Mike

            So, they go to college to become house cleaners?
            In reality, I don’t see any house cleaners who are native English speakers. People who willingly left their countries to clean houses here must see an advantage to be a woman living in the United States.

          • Kevin Skipper

            In reality, the Bay Area doesn’t reflect most people’s reality before the year 2008. Remember that every single immigrant who survived cleaning houses did so as a function of that occupation being created as an extension of slavery. Why didn’t they flock to England of Germany to become butler’s and maids? China likes clean houses and full service dining! Why not them?

            Turns out, America was expressly invented for the successful slavery and immigration. No other reason whatsoever.

            Melanated peoples held captive to create and perpetuate an order of complete capitalist ideological management weren’t the pioneers of the western patriarchal experience. Slavery was able to exist because the space was first created for Western Women. Thereby, it’s favorable to be a woman in this country only if one assumes that she is thinking, speaking or acting in support of slavery, groupthink or bondage. The teeny bopper, the cheerleader, the newscaster, the nonprofit activist, the pundit and the congresswoman can do very well for themselves but only as long as they’re willing to throw their “gifts and talents” towing the orthodox line.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Those college and employment rates sound bout right. At the same time, I would question how four decades and three waves of “feminism” have still left the gender and class balances intact. Seems to me there’s a disconnect between rights for the female members of an already privileged class and and actual gender (or racial) equality. Another way to look at it is that the idea of education equating to social mobility might be ready for another reexamination.

          • Hillary Clintub

            That state of affairs was the result of LBJ’s Vietnam war. Women moved in to fill the void left by young men who had been drafted. Maybe that trend will reverse itself once we start drafting young women to do our fighting and dying.

          • Another Mike

            I don’t understand this.
            College enrollment was a draft deferment till fall, 1971.
            The draft ended 1973
            So the draft encouraged male enrollment except for a two-year blip, which would have started in 1971, and ended in 1976 or so.Three years before 1979.

      • Kevin Skipper

        Youre buying a narrative presented by yhe very same racist patriarchy that is currently faking it’s own death.

        For a woman, education and job access also means that she is more likely to be made a zombie shell of herself by emotionally predatory, morally degrading messaging and decreased mental space to critically maintain her own best interests.

    • Kevin Skipper

      Dont let em control ya!
      Its all about fear, uncertainty and trepidation. Just relax breathe. Stay calm and don’t let her watch Disney.

  • Ross

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there were still minority protections for presidential appointments. Whatever happened to those……

    • Another Mike

      How do you mean that? Can you give an example?

      • Ross

        ?? The filibuster….

        • Curious

          The dims got rid of them.

    • Kevin Skipper

      You mean like Gerrymandering?

  • Robert Thomas

    Mr Driscoll and his friends are tired of being called out for their indifference to racism and their other unsavory views.

    They pout.

    I weep.

  • trite

    Thanks, Mr. Suarez, for letting your guests finish their thoughts and for not interrupting.

  • JimmyOo

    kqed tv needs to show The Producers on the Saturday night movie soon.

  • JimmyOo

    Pleasantly surprised to hear Ray Suarez hosting today. Welcome, Ray!

  • Hillary Clintub

    Half of Americans need to kill the other half in order to be free. It ain’t workin’ the way it is. Unfettered democracy always winds up that way with a bright line dividing the oppressed and the oppressors. That’s why the Founding Fathers wanted nothing to do with pure democracy. They enacted safeguards – such as The Bill of Rights, states’ rights and proportional representation – against it.

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