Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions will face the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 10-11 for his confirmation hearings. It likely will be one of the earliest showdowns between the incoming Trump administration and Senate Democrats over the president-elect’s nominees, Politico reports. Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wants to hold the hearings before Donald Trump is sworn in Jan. 20 to get Sessions promptly confirmed.
Other attorney general nominees for incoming presidents, such as former Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009, have had their confirmation hearings before the president-elect was sworn in. Senate Democrats have promised thorough scrutiny of Sessions’ nomination, but they won’t likely won’t have the votes to block his confirmation, holding only 48 seats. Much of Sessions’ 33-page questionnaire to the committee seemed to be aimed at rebutting old allegations of racism that derailed his nomination for a federal judgeship three decades ago. When asked to list 10 cases he litigated that he is the most proud of, Sessions discussed several that showed his advocacy on behalf of African-Americans, such as a 1983 case that went after allegations of racist behavior — such as hiring only white poll workers and limiting access to polling places for black voters.