The narrow confirmation of Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions as head of the Justice Department, finalized with a 52-47 vote last night, was never in doubt as Republicans stuck together to elevate their colleague to President Trump’s cabinet, Politico reports. The final hours of the fight over Sessions’ fitness came to a head over the rare and dramatic rebuke of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who Republicans deemed had violated Senate rules forbidding one member from impugning another.
“Frankly, Jeff Sessions is a very fine person, and they all admit that,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “I guess because he’s from Alabama, they think every white male is a racist, or at least might be. So that’s wrong. I just think that’s wrong, it’s obnoxious and it’s something that we ought all decry.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), took it one step further, accusing Democrats of being the “party of the Ku Klux Klan.” Democrats charged that Sessions’ deeply conservative stances on issues like immigration, civil rights, abortion, and criminal justice reform were out of line for what was expected of the nation’s chief law enforcement official.