Tag Archives: US attorney general

Clergyman is right: Policy is ‘immoral’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should put his Bible away and open it again on Sunday when he’s in church.

The Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border is not in keeping with biblical principles. It is, as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo called it, an “immoral” policy.

The administration has invoked this policy as a deterrent against illegal immigrants. Donald Trump doesn’t want illegal immigrants to enter this country. I join him in that regard. I want strict border enforcement as much as he does and as much as the attorney general wants it.

Do we really need to separate babies from their mothers and fathers? Do we really need to torture these parents by keeping their children away from them while immigration officials sort out how to handle these individuals’ undocumented entry into the United States?

Sessions invoked the Bible when he said Romans 13 compels governments to enforce the law apparently by whatever means they deem necessary. Sessions said in Fort Wayne, Ind., according to The Associated Press: “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” he said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Did the Almighty compel the separation of children — some of them infants — from their parents? I think that’s open to serious discussion.

The administration has other responsibilities, too, according to Cardinal DiNardo, who said: “Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma,” DiNardo said in a statement.


No intention to lecture AG about the law, but really …

I am acutely aware that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is an educated man.

He went to law school; passed the Alabama state bar; served as a federal prosecutor; tried to become a federal judge in the 1980s, but was rejected by the U.S. Senate because of some things he reportedly said about black people; then he was elected to the Senate.

He now serves as U.S. attorney general, thanks to an appointment by Donald John Trump.

There. Having stipulated all of that, I need to remind the attorney general that he should not disrespect the tenet of judicial review that the nation’s founders established when they formed our republic more than two centuries ago.

I say this with no desire to lecture the AG about the law, or the U.S. Constitution.

However, when he pops off about a federal judge sitting on the bench “on an island in the Pacific,” he has disrespected one of the basic frameworks set aside by those founders.

The judge presides over a federal court in Hawaii, one of the nation’s 50 states. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled against Trump’s temporary travel ban on constitutional grounds. The travel ban is now heading to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

You’ll recall, too, that the president himself referred to another federal jurist in Washington state as a “so-called judge” when he struck down an earlier travel ban involving refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump might need a lecture about the Constitution and the separation of powers written into it; he might need to be told about how the founders intended for the judiciary to be independent of political pressure. Given that Trump had zero government experience prior to becoming — gulp! — president, he might be unaware of the not-so-fine print written in the Constitution.

The attorney general should know better than to disparage a federal judge in the manner that he did.

An island in the Pacific? C’mon, Mr. Attorney General.

Suck it up. Let the courts do their job. Sure, you are entitled to challenge court decisions’ legality. However, let’s stop the petulant put-downs.

Same thing goes for you, too, Mr. President.

GOP lawmaker gets it right: appoint a special prosecutor

Well … as I live and breathe.

Republican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of California — one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most fervent nemeses on Capitol Hill — has shown his reasonable side.

Issa believes a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate allegations about Donald J. Trump’s connections to the Russian government.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the wrong man to lead such a probe, Issa told Bill Maher on his “Real Time” TV show.

Issa said, according to the Associated Press: “You’re right that you cannot have somebody — a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions — who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.”

How about that?

Issa makes the case that Sessions is too close to the president and too much in Trump’s hip pocket to be a faithful and committed investigator into allegations about the president’s relationships with Russian government officials.

Intelligence agencies have determined that Russian hackers sought to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump keeps denying it, calling such reporting “fake news.” What’s more, there now are questions about whether the Trump campaign had improper contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign while the government was (allegedly) trying to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

Sessions role in the campaign? He was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump; he spoke in Trump’s favor at the Republican convention this past summer; he joined the campaign as a national security adviser; and then he got appointed attorney general by the same president who should be investigated for improper conduct.

It’s to be expected that Democrats would insist on a special prosecutor. To hear such demands come from Republicans — let alone one who pursued a leading Democratic politician seemingly forever — provides a need push in the drive to find the unvarnished truth in this ongoing story.

Note to AG pick: expect a rough ride before Senate inquisitors

Donald J. Trump perhaps selected Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. attorney general expecting him to get a smooth ride through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I believe he would be mistaken if that is the case.

Sessions has served in the Senate as a Republican from Alabama. However, he brings some heavy baggage along as he preps for what I think will be a rough confirmation hearing.

You see, he once was rebuffed by the Senate when President Reagan nominated him for a federal judgeship. Why? It seems the then-U.S. attorney had said some highly insensitive things about African-Americans — and about an infamous organization known to hate black people.

Sessions once said he believed the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he learned that one of its leaders “had smoked pot.” Sessions said he was joking. Damn, I haven’t stopped laughing at that one!

The Senate couldn’t abide by what Sessions said so it rejected his nomination to the federal bench.

Voters back home, though, apparently didn’t hold that rejection against Sessions when they elected him to the same Senate that had turned him away from his cherished judgeship.


As the Washington Post has reported, Sessions’s views are at odds with a lot of mainstream political thought across the nation. For example, according to the Post: “At a 2006 congressional hearing, Sessions said that an entire group of people wouldn’t thrive in America. ‘Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skill that would benefit us and would indicate their likely success in our society,’ he said.

“In 2009, he voted against a hate crimes bill named after Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming student murdered in 1998, that extended federal hate crime protections to people victimized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“As state attorney general in 1995, he argued against a decision by the Alabama Circuit Court to order the state to remedy funding inequities between the poorest school districts, which were heavily black, and their wealthiest, which were predominantly white. He did so on the grounds that taxing and spending power lay with the legislature, not the courts.”

The president-elect could do a lot better than Jeff Sessions in seeking an attorney general. I don’t expect the Senate to reject Sessions.

I do, though, expect senators to demand that the AG-designate answer some direct and probing questions about his views relating to equal treatment for all Americans.