Sessions, Specter and the Supreme Court

Things are getting really exciting on Capitol Hill.

Supreme Court Justice David Souter has recently announced his retirement, paving the way for Obama’s first Supreme Court nomination.

In a coincidental turn of events- a side plot, perhaps- Representative Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) will be taking Arlen Specter’s place as the top Republican in the Senate Judiciary committee.

All of this becomes interesting when we take a look at some of the stuff Representative Sessions is best known for.

Most political junkies recognize Sessions from way back in the day, when the Democrats were dukin’ it out with President George W. Bush over his Supreme Court pick, Justice Samuel Alito.

The Dems, hating this choice of nominee, fought tooth and nail to keep him from being appointed… ultimately prolonging the process of confirming the Justice’s nomination.

Jeff Sessions was the ultra-vocal senator that felt judges needed to be appointed by a simple up-or-down vote.

Simple majority, people.

No arguing, no filibuster…

… In short, no muss, no fuss.

Just Yea or Nay.

Since the founding of the Republic, we have understood that there was a two-thirds supermajority for ratification and advice and consent on treaties and a majority vote for judges. That is what we have done. That is what we have always done. But there was a conscious decision on behalf of the leadership, unfortunately, of the Democratic Party in the last Congress to systematically filibuster some of the best nominees ever submitted to the Senate. It has been very painful. -Senate Floor Speech, Rep. Jeff Sessions, 2005

I wonder, now that President Obama is holding the reigns, if Representative Sessions still feels the same way.

Obviously, it won’t be difficult for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to win a simple majority vote, considering the Dems control both houses.

Will Sessions put his money where his mouth is and support a straight vote…

… Or not?

Just when things begin to get interesting, the plot thickens.

You see, Representative Sessions was nominated 20 years ago to be a U.S. District Judge.

The Senate rejected his nomination.

The reason?

Sessions’ was alleged to have made racially insensitive remarks. A U.S. attorney, in fact, testified that he’d heard Sessions claim that he used to respect and admire the Ku Klux Klan-

Until he learned many of its members were pot smokers.

The deciding vote that doomed his confirmation in the Senate?

Arlen Spector.

This is gettin’ good.

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