Second-Class: Jeff Sessions and the Kagan Confirmation



If you thought the "Strong Latina" hypocrisy was a hoot, you're bound to enjoy this little gem: As the Senate Judiciary Committee continued to perform its ultrasound on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan today, senior Republican Senator Jeff Sessions chastised Kagan in a slow, southern drawl for her decision as dean of Harvard Law to prohibit recruiters from the school's career services office because of the Pentagon's policy against openly gay soldiers. Kagan, rightfully, "abhors" Don't Ask, Don't Tell, likely because it treats gays and lesbians in the military service like second-class citizens.

Sessions, however, managed to find a way to frame Kagan's decision to ban military recruiters from the career services office (but not the campus itself) as "punishing" the military services, treating them in a "second-class way" and creating a hostile environment for the military on campus.

Which is funny by itself because, you know, DADT happens to do the exact same things...to gays and lesbians...in the military.

But here’s the real hand grenade in Sessions’ little showing today: Turns out back in the eighties, President Reagan nominated Sessions to be a judge of the US District Court in Alabama. At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee (yes, the very one he’s now the ranking member on), four Department of Justice lawyers testified that he’d been known to make racist statements. An African American assistant attorney testified that Sessions had cautioned him to “'be careful what you say to white folks.’” In light of this information, his nomination was killed by the Senate, despite the fact that Republicans held 10 seats and Democrats had eight. Hey, it was the eighties.

Only the second person in forty eight years to ever have his nomination to the federal judiciary fail, a racist Sessions now grasps at straws to try to accuse Kagan of treating others as second-class citizens during her own confirmation. Yeah, that’s not surprising. What’s unclear to me is how this fool ever ended up in a position of power in the first place.

So there you have it: New Kids on the Block, legwarmers, Jeff Sessions -- three things that should have never stayed relevant past the eighties.
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