Lance Dutson, a former Collins campaign and Senate staffer, said her support of Sessions doesn't surprise him and is likely based on an assessment of his personal integrity rather than his policy positions. Asked if he ever joined in the chants of "lock her up", Sessions said: "No, I did not ..."
Also speaking at the event organized by the Family Research Council (FRC) was Rev. Dean Nelson, director of African-American outreach for FRC's Watchmen on the Wall, a ministry to pastors, and chairman of the board for the Frederick Douglass Foundation. Capitol police hustled the protesters to the doors as they shouted a slogan that several times interrupted the hearings, "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.".
On Tuesday, Sessions was not quite as emphatic on the issue as he has been in the past.
Grassley makes a point of mentioning Sessions' role in prosecuting a KKK member for murder.
"I won't commit to never enforcing federal law", Sessions told Sen.
In recognition of this fact, Sessions used his opening statement not only to condemn the "damnably false" allegations of his personal bigotry, but also reframed his record as a federal prosecutor and politician as one befitting an egalitarian, anti-racist.
One marijuana expert, Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver, said Sessions is keeping his options open. True racism is what you see when the four young kids kidnapped that white kid and tortured him.
"I think there were some cues here than can help us understand what to expect", Kelly added. Also he pledged to abide by civil rights and voting rights laws, and said that Supreme Court precedents governing abortion and gay marriage were settled law. "He spearheaded the effort to have bestowed upon her the Congressional Gold Medal [in 1999]".
"He is a world-class legal mind and considered a truly great Attorney General and U.S. Attorney in the state of Alabama", Trump said in a written statement. "I am totally committed to. the freedom and equality this country has to provide for every citizen". "I've done no research into that", Sessions said. Sessions said he now believes the president-elect has moderated that view, instead favoring a form of stringent vetting to keep those coming from a country with a history of terrorism from crossing the nation's borders.
Numerous non-lawmaker witnesses appointed to testify at the hearing are also well-known activists in the African-American community. Last Tuesday, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and five other civil rights leaders were arrested during a sit-in at Sessions's Alabama office, demanding he withdraw his name for consideration for attorney general.
If he were questioning Sessions at the hearing Tuesday and Wednesday, he'd like to know how he plans to work with civil rights groups to enforce civil rights in America.
Democrats don't have the power to block the nomination of either Sessions or retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to head DHS, since Republicans control the Senate and only need a simple majority to confirm both men.
Sen. Cory Booker announced late on Monday that he will break longstanding Senate norms and testify against fellow sitting Sen. "It's a fundamental of civil rights to be safe in your home and in your community". "I have done my job with integrity, equality, and fairness for all".