06:45 GMT +330 May 2017
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    Senators Press Trump Attorney General Nomination on Civil Rights Record

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    Brad Friedman
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    On today's BradCast, US Senate confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's top Administration nominees are officially underway. They began today with Day 1 of hearings for controversial US Attorney General nominee Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama.

    In the days leading up to today's Sessions session, Democrats have blasted Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for reversing course on demands he had made for Obama nominees back in 2009, requiring that all background checks and vetting by the Office of Government Ethics be completed before hearings begin. Also, before today's hearing commenced, members of the Congressional Black Caucus requested time to give testimony on Sessions' extremely controversial civil rights record. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), however, while agreeing to allow the member testimony, broke with Senate tradition by only allowing it only after all of the other witness testimony has completed.

    We cover all of that today and more details on the former Alabama state AG and US Attorney's troubling record on civil rights along with his failure to tell the truth about it. We offer extended excerpts of Sessions' testimony today, including exchanges with Senators Franken (D-MN), Klobuchar (D-MN) and Whitehouse (D-RI), who pressed the A.G. nominee on voting rights, civil rights, and climate science, among other issues, in what was, in my opinion — and, in particular, given the moment — an all-too-friendly hearing among Senate colleagues.

    Nonetheless, hooks were baited and traps were set for what could lead to trouble for Sessions on several of these key issues in the days (and years) ahead, if his nomination is confirmed as expected…

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    Tags:
    vote caging, rights and freedoms, Voting Rights Act, Climate Change, 2016 US Presidential election, Exxon Mobil, Department of Justice, Republicans, Democrats, US Supreme Court, Amy Klobuchar, Sheldon Whitehouse, Al Franken, Chuck Grassley, United States, Alabama
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