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Sen. Jeff Sessions Attacks Judicial Nominee For Not Attacking Justice Kagan

By Ian Millhiser on April 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

"Sen. Jeff Sessions Attacks Judicial Nominee For Not Attacking Justice Kagan"

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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as a failed judicial nominee in 1986

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions knows something about what it means to be unfit for the federal bench. In 1986, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Session’s nomination to a federal judgeship in Alabama after a Justice Department attorney revealed that Sessions called the NAACP and the ACLU “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” Unfortunately, rather than gaining some humility from this incident, the now-Sen. Sessions seems to be finding questionably qualified nominees under every rock he can lift:

Sessions was one of [Justice Elena] Kagan’s toughest critics on the Senate Judiciary Committee when she was nominated by President Obama in 2010. Last week, he revived his complaints about her when he became one of only two committee members to vote against Maine lawyer William J. Kayatta Jr., whom Obama nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

Kayatta’s transgression, according to Sessions, is that he was the lead investigator for the American Bar Association panel that gave nominee Kagan its highest rating — “Unanimous Well-Qualified.”

Given that Kagan had never been a judge and had little experience in private practice, Sessions said, such a rating “was not only unsupported by the record but, in my opinion, the product of political bias.”

For the record, Justice Kagan was the sitting Solicitor General, a former Dean of the Harvard Law School, a former White House attorney and senior policy staffer and a former law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall when she was nominated to the Supreme Court. The idea that she wasn’t well qualified for her current job is absurd.

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