Attorney General-nominee defends Constitution

In this Nov. 29, 2016, photo, Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Molly Riley

By Jenny Beth Martin - - Friday, January 6, 2017

President-elect Donald Trumpís nominee for Attorney General, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, will sit for his confirmation hearing next Tuesday and Wednesday, and Senate Democrats have promised that the hearings will be as lengthy - and as ugly - as they can possibly make them.

The leftís case against Jeff Sessions has devolved into a single line of attack: a preposterous claim that Sen. Sessions is a racist. This smear campaign against Sen. Sessions is a tried-and-true (and tired and overdone, we might add) tactic of the left.

The allegations of racism are baseless and unfounded. But donít just take my word for it. William Smith, an African-American who served as Sen. Sessionsí chief legal counsel for years, has defended his former boss, emphatically stating that the Senator is not a racist. And, when Mr. Smith left Capitol Hill for a new job, Sen. Sessions took to the Senate floor to give a moving tribute to William Smith for his service to the country, counsel, and friendship over the years. Hardly the actions of a racist.

Over the past two months, as the Democrats have dug in their heels on Sen. Sessionsí nomination, they have done so under the pretense of upholding their exacting and thorough requirements for Attorney General. In reality, the Democrats, it turns out, have far less stringent requirements for the position of Attorney General than do conservatives. The leftís misguided fixation on Sen. Sessionsí alleged but non-existent racism reveals that, for Democrats, apparently, the only point of interest is whether or not a nominee is racist. (And, to be clear, Sen. Sessions passes that test with flying colors.)

For conservatives, however, our more sophisticated test for the Attorney General is multi-faceted. We want to know, for example, if the nominee would rigorously defend the Constitution. Would he or she steadfastly uphold the rule of law?

President Obamaís two Attorneys General - Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch - have demonstrated over the past eight years the dangers of what happens when a political agenda trumps the rule of law at a rogue Justice Department. From conservativesí perspective, a faithful devotion to the rule of law, as enshrined in our Constitution, is the sine qua non for an Attorney General. Here, too, Sen. Sessions performs exceedingly well.

Why does Tea Party Patriots stand behind Jeff Sessions? Because, quite simply, Sen. Sessions has always stood with us in our work upholding the rule of law and defending the U.S. Constitution.

I have had the distinct honor of working alongside Sen. Sessions on several key legislative battles over the last five years, and I have always been impressed with his willingness to roll up his sleeves and do the hard work of fighting for conservative principles. In 2013, when the Senate was determined to ram through its massive Gang of Eight amnesty bill, Sen. Sessions stood his ground and worked tirelessly to encourage his colleagues to read the bill and view it in the context of the rule of law.

When Tea Party Patriots did our press conferences and rallies to oppose the amnesty bill, Sen. Sessions stood with us, helping to drive home the point that the bill would have undermined our immigration laws and made a mockery of the rule of law. In the end, Sen. Sessions helped us win that fight, and the amnesty bill was defeated.

Capitol Hill is a place where shrillness and hysterics often win the debates of the day, but Sen. Sessions, with his even-tempered way and mild manners, has consistently given voice to conservativism and has won seemingly insurmountable legislative battles simply by sticking to his principles and persuading others in the Senate of the merits of his argument. I have had the opportunity to see first-hand how Sen. Sessions uses history, proven facts, and, yes, especially, the Constitution to win arguments.

Sen. Sessionsí unswerving prioritization of the rule of law will be a breath of fresh air at the Justice Department, and we look forward to seeing the Constitution-centric reforms he pursues as Attorney General. Senate Democrats would be wise to heed the election results, set aside their post-election grief, and confirm Sen. Sessions - a man with a remarkable resume and career who is eminently qualified to serve as our nationís next Attorney General.