As he seeks to convince his colleagues he is worthy of being the next U.S. attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Al.) is casting himself today as an old-school law enforcer who will crack down on violent crime, work to improve morale at local police departments, and remain fiercely independent of the president who appointed him, the Washington Post reports. Sessions highlighted increases in violent crime in some areas and asserted that the U.S. might be at “the beginning of a dangerous trend” that could make the nation less safe.
“Protecting the people of this country from crime, and especially from violent crime, is the high calling of the men and women of the Department of Justice,” Sessions said. “Today, I am afraid, that has become more important than ever.”He promised vigorous prosecution of gun crimes, and express empathy for the civil rights struggles of African Americans. The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions for a federal judgeship in 1986 amid allegations of racially insensitive remarks, and civil rights advocates and others have mounted a vigorous campaign to deny him the attorney general post. He is expected to win confirmation.