Hearing Set for Jeff Sessions Attorney General Nomination

Cannabis PenaltiesIt’s official, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has set January 10-11, 2017 for the confirmation hearing of noted marijuana law reform opponent Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to become the next Attorney General.

Already it appears that Sen. Grassley will try to keep the hearings as short as possible and restrict the number of witnesses who testify. From the Judiciary Committee press release:

“The hearings for the four most recent Attorneys General lasted one to two days each. At each of those hearings, three to nine outside witnesses testified.”

It’s clear the hope is to rush the process as much as possible in order to obtain a successful confirmation given Sessions’ failed history of earning the approval of the Judiciary Committee for a previous judicial appointment in the 1980’s.

In 1986, Sessions was appointed by the Reagan Administration to serve as a federal judge, yet his confirmation was voted down 8-10 in the Republican controlled committee, with two Republicans joining the Democrats in opposition over claims of racial prejudice, including off handed remarks about supporting the Ku Klux Klan until he discovered that they smoke marijuana. At the time, Sessions was just the second judicial federal appointee denied confirmation in 50 years.

The implications for marijuana policies at the state level could be dire. As recently as April of this year, during a Senate hearing, Sessions proclaimed that “good people do not use marijuana.” How a potential Attorney General Sessions would treat the 29 states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana is still unclear and could prove devastating to the decades of hard-fought progress that we have made on behalf of responsible marijuana users.

TAKE ACTION: Email your Senators and tell them to not approve Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General

39 thoughts

  1. People, we need to make sure EVERY SENATOR from EVERY STATE has been advised! Now is the time for EVERYONE to pitch in!

    If you’ve never emailed your Senators before, NOW is the time to participate. If you’re uncomfortable giving them your personal information, remember: you’re an “armchair warrior” now, so break out of your comfort zone, and take a stand! (…while sitting!)

    It’s your RIGHT, and, if you care about marijuana legalization, it’s your DUTY to let your Senators know how you feel about it. They work for you! Put them to task, NOW.

    Thank you.

    1. Well said Mark! It’s not hard, doesn’t take much time. Put out a little effort and let’s be heard! END PROHIBITION! Never worked, never will!

  2. This guy is standing in the way of taking marijuana out of the hands of violent (Mexican) cartels and into the control of a market regulated and policed by the government–not thugs–and into the hands of U.S. citizens who are paying taxes, creating jobs, and who are visible and can be held accountable, you know, not an invisible network of people in the shadows.

    If not Sessions, then who? I certainly do NOT want Sessions as he is a scorpion who will sting us! Who are my other alternatives? Who are the cannabis community’s options?

  3. Hello Justin. Please make the Take Action link up front and accessible on this blog;

    http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19683

    I find it very distressing that contacting our Senators to block this nomination of treasonous hatred to our office of the AG is not the full priority of this blog and website. If we cant expect the electoral college to do their job today and vote in another candidate when Trump treasonously denies a press conference to explain his unconstitutional emoluments from Trump projects around tyrranical parts of the world, despotically praises a mass murderer Duterte for killing his own people in conspiracy of Drug possession or at least stop Trump from encouraging espionage from the Russians to subdue our Democratic Republic, then the very least we can expect is to block the nomination of a domestic terrorist who was already blocked from Judicial position 30 years ago. Praising the KKK “until I found out they smoked pot,” was a fascist praise of one of America’s oldest domestic terrorist groups and upholds the state sanctioned terror that is marijuana prohibition.
    Post the link to our Senators to block Sessions.
    http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19683
    Failure to do so is almost complicit with treason.

  4. “Good people do not use marijuana” how dare he say that! My past includes volunteer work after Hurricane Andrew, as well as so much of my life spent giving. I never mention this but the article really made me angry.

    After 20 yrs. of being on very high doses of opioids I deceived to stop July 4th of this yr. I had no cravings and I know 100% it was due to my use of medical marijuana. I had my last 22 hr. Surgery 3 yrs. ago and today I have 54 screws, 4 rods and a neck plate. I also must wear a brace on my leg to walk. Without medical marijuana I would feel the intense muscular and nerve pain that I live with 24/7.

    Please, once and for all, keep marijuana legal in CA & make it legal nationally.

  5. At this point I think there would be a huge pushback against any attempts to repeal state laws on medical or recreational. There are too many people on board with it and too few problems have emerged for there to be enough people to want to repeal the laws. I have to think even state governments won’t want to lose the tax revenue and are perhaps noticing other benefits such as decreased crime, shorter hospital stays, and if it were tracked long enough, probably a correlating decrease in diabetes and heart disease.

  6. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

    http://www.norml.org/congressional-scorecard

    Here’s the latest scoop on Sessions being sent a letter by fellow member of the Senate Judiciary, Democratic Senator Blumenthal, to recuse himself from nomination:

    http://ctmirror.org/2016/12/08/blumenthal-tells-sessions-to-abstain-from-voting-on-his-own-confirmation/

    As all six preceding nominees have done when they are on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which currently holds 9 Democrats and 10 Republicans.
    I predict all the Democrats but Feinstein vote him down. (Maaaaybe Feinstein can be persuaded considering Sessions civil rights record and the fact that Sessions voted against her when she had her emails hacked by the CIA).
    As for the Republicans on the committee, of course Chairman Chuck Grassley is no friend of legalization.
    But the wild cards here are Senators Lindsay Graham, who has already shown some desire to stand up to Trump, and has a B- on the NORML Congressional scorecard.
    Senator Tillis from North Carolina has a C score and is definitely worth lobbying and calling immediately.
    Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona has a C score and is a Libertarian. He is a hopeful challenger to a Sessions nomination and should be lobbied by his own constituency heavily.
    Both Texas Senators are on the Judiciary, and even though Cornyn is deep in the pockets of asset forfeitures with a blaring F on the scorecard, I write them both repeatedly. Here is an interesting test for Cruz, who has a C for some reason, to test if he really meant that states should have the right to practice marijuana policy. When Blumenthal asks Sessions if he will persue a federal law suit to attack state legalization, Cruz needs to be held to the fire so he doesn’t flip flop on us like he did with mandatory minimums. Of course Cruz doesn’t have much backbone, as he demonstrated when he went to fetch Trump’s shine box at the end of the campaign.

    1. “Dear Julian,

      Thank you for your recent letter regarding the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important nomination.

      Americans deserve an Attorney General who is impartial, honest, and dedicated to upholding the law. Politics and ideology should never interfere with our justice system.

      Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is qualified and prepared to serve the United States as Attorney General. Guided by a strong sense of duty evident in his last five decades in public service, Senator Sessions has devoted his life to the people of Alabama and the United States. As a federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, and as Alabama’s Attorney General and U.S. Senator, Senator Sessions’ career reflects an earnest commitment to do what is right.

      I know Senator Sessions well, and I am confident he will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States with honor and distinction. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a colleague of Senator Sessions, I look forward to questioning and supporting him throughout the confirmation process.

      I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

      Sincerely,

      JOHN CORNYN

      United States Senator”

      Expected from a Senator with an “F” on the NORML scorecard… Senator Cornyn is on the Judiciary Committee. But to say that “Politics and ideology should never interfere with the law,” deserves a fine slap in the face for Senator Cornyn. “Impartial” Senator Cornyn? If the sentence “I didn’t have any problems with the KKK until I found out they smoked pot” was enough to block Judicial nomination for Sessions 30 years ago it damn sure still is now.

      1. Of course; the link above is for us to write our own Senators, which is why it is so vital for NORML chapters to unite so we can write/greet and lobby EVERY Senator with a shred of love for our Democratic Republic. To be more effective Senators need to hear from their own voting constituents. And NORML members need to ramp up donations to recurreing automatic monthly withdrawals of at least $10. This is the climax of our Great American Cannabis Tragedy. It began with the recent elections. No one said the climax would last a day.

  7. Senator Vitter from Louisiana is another Fat “F,” which leaves us with the two Senators from Utah who both have a “C” and don’t have much motivation to cooperate with a Trump administration considering the humiliation Trump put Mitt Romney through during the treasonous State Department nomination. No guarantees, but these Utah boys are certainly worth the effort to join the block party.

    But there’s one Senate Republican on the Judiciary that may be cause for the greatest hope for us to block a Sessions nomination:
    Senator David Perdue from Georgia of all places:

    Feb 16, 2014: “I’m not a doctor, but the only use of marijuana that I would support today would be the medical use of it,” he said. Contact Peachtree NORML and get them in Perdue’s office! He’s a statesman and worth persuading.

    We need to call our Senators and emphasize to their staff members that a Sessions nomination would mean an attack on the sovereignty of states rights. Sessions will use federal courts to undermine state law. This must be the focus of the hearing.
    Even in a state like Texas or Georgia that only have CBD only or very low THC laws, if Sessions takes office and sues state legalization in Federal court those laws are subject to deregulation through federal interference as well. We need to push this threat to state law down the throats of our Senators publicly during this hearing to expose that Sessions is willing to throw minorities and children with severe epilepsy under the bus with a Federal threat to state’s rights, just so he can settle the score on being rejected by the Judiciary 30 years ago, as well he must again be rejected today.

  8. How about this — “good people” do not elect or confirm racist, cracker-ass bigots to positions of power! “Good people” stand up against fascism. “Good people” fight inequality, injustice, and abuses of power.

    Therefore, good people, PLEASE contact your Senators to tell them to oppose the Jeff Sessions nomination for AG.

  9. I emailed both Colorado Senators, one Democrat and one Republican, urging them to oppose the Jeff Sessions nomination for AG. Both Senators have previously received a NORML grade of B+.

    The Democrat, while falling short of an absolute pledge to oppose the nomination, acknowledged the problem. The Republican seems to be keeping his options wide open. Here is the Democrat’s response (I will post the Republican’s response in a following comment.) But don’t settle for my letters — go get your own!

    From Senator Bennet (D), NORML grade: B+
    Dear Mark:
    Thank you for writing me regarding President-elect Trump’s executive branch nominations.
    Many Coloradans have written to express their strong concern about the Trump Administration’s agenda and to disapprove of Mr. Trump’s nominees to fill key roles in the new administration. Given the tone and rhetoric of the President-elect’s campaign and some of the policies and views he has advanced, this is not surprising.
    I am committed to a thorough and fair process for considering each of Mr. Trump’s nominees once the Senate reconvenes in the New Year. It is my hope that each nominee will be fully transparent during the confirmation process. I will hold each nominee to standards befitting the high offices under consideration.
    Now more than ever, we need to build a politics based on inclusion, empathy, and understanding. We must not normalize divisive rhetoric or hateful action. My office will continue to stand up for Americans of every race, religion, and sexual orientation.
    I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.
    For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at http://bennet.senate.gov/. Again, thank you for contacting me.
    Sincerely,
    Signature
    Michael F. Bennet
    United States Senator

  10. I emailed both Colorado Senators, one Democrat and one Republican, urging them to oppose the Jeff Sessions nomination for AG. Both Senators have previously received a NORML grade of B+.

    The Democrat, while falling short of an absolute pledge to oppose the nomination, acknowledged the problem. The Republican seems to be keeping his options wide open. Here is the Democrat’s response (I have posted the Democrat’s response in a previous comment.) But don’t settle for my letters — go get your own!

    From Senator Gardner (R), NORML grade: B+
    Dear Mr. Mitcham,
    Thank you for contacting me regarding the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be United States Attorney General. I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.
    On November 18, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Senator Sessions to be Attorney General in his upcoming administration. Senator Sessions has served as a Senator for the state of Alabama since 1996 and previously served as Alabama Attorney General. Article II of the Constitution requires that the President obtain the advice and consent of the Senate on Presidential appointments. Rest assured, I will keep your thoughts in mind as similar issues come before the Senate.
    Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you.
    Sincerely,
    Cory Gardner
    United States Senator

      1. Thanks Mark. Here is the Arkansas Senators response as that I received this morning:

        Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about the nomination of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General by President-elect Trump. It is good to hear from you.

        I understand your concerns, however, throughout my time in Congress, it has been my experience that Senator Sessions has faithfully and persistently dedicated himself to the protection of all citizens of this country. His distinguished legal background as a federal criminal prosecutor, a U.S. Attorney, the Alabama Attorney General, and his 19 years as a staunch defender of the Constitution as a U.S. Senator, have provided him the expertise to take on the roll of the United States Attorney General. His determination to uphold the rule of law and provide a safer place for all of us to live gives me the assurance that he will be an excellent leader for our law enforcement nationwide and our justice system.

        As you may know, Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution specifies that some presidential appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. These include the heads of Cabinet-level departments and agencies as well as some other executive officers. Each of these nominations are referred to the appropriate Senate committee, which carefully considers the qualifications of those nominated and holds hearings as part of the vetting process. If the committee votes to report the nomination favorably, the nomination then moves to the full Senate, where it is listed on the Senate’s Executive Calendar. The Senate Majority Leader is responsible for scheduling a vote on the nomination in the full Senate. I look forward to carefully considering each nominee in accordance with my constitutional duties. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind when the nomination of Senator Sessions reaches the floor of the U.S. Senate for confirmation.

        Sincerely

      2. They lie right to your face, don’t they?

        Quote: “Senator Sessions has faithfully and persistently dedicated himself to the protection of all citizens of this country.” That’s a lie.

        We know he has worked to deny the voter rights of black citizens in Alabama, and to imprison them for trying to vote! Is that not a matter of record? Or did your Senator mean, “I never saw it in MY time around the guy, when I was having a beer with him,” which is deceptive and gives racism a free pass.

        Makes me mad, even though you’re the one who got the letter!

        Still, you did the right thing by making your views known, because your Senators work for you! Even the corrupt ones need to be put on notice. Perhaps even more so. Therefore I say to you, and all who sent letters, “Well done!”

  11. Not only increase people’s suffering.“Good people do not smoke marijuana”…So a retired General has to smoke cannabis because of Parkinsons disease as an example…Good People don’t smoke marijuana is the most ridiculous thing and saying it is sickening. How many more prisons will be held for cannabis smokers, Medical or Recreational. How about “good people don’t drink alcohol”!!!

    1. OMG! All we need is a commercial with celebrities working charities and/or Heroes smoking weed and saying those simple words “I’m a good person and I smoke Marijuana” to off-set what Jeff Sessions said. That would be an awesome commercial.

  12. I have, once again, sent another set of emails to both Arkansas Republican Senators requesting that they “NOT” vote in favor of Jeff Sessions as U.S.A.G. Not only is Jeff Sessions a racist but he was denied this same position over 35 years ago! This man is a Dinosaur (in both age and Ideology) who is not in touch with the last or current generation age groups. Allowing Jeff Sessions to become the U.S.A.G. will take us a step back into the 1950’s. We need an A.G. who listen to common sense, work to bridge bipartisanship and will enact the will of the people instead of forcing the people to his will.

  13. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has more in common with Hitler than he does with Americans! He truly does not seem to care anything about the will of the people or the right to pursue happiness. He wants to speed the process of making Sessions the new AG so that prohibition can continue unabated.

    They both totally disgust me and I hope that both of their careers end abruptly!

  14. It is important that we challenge this talking point: “Marijuana today is 6 times more potent than in the 60’s (and is therefore dangerous}”. In fact, the more potent it is, the less we have to smoke to get the same effects. That removes six times the noxious effects smoking may have.

  15. How do we get legalization/decriminalization/etc. of some form on a vote in two years in Iowa???? Chuck Grassley is an idiot about the issue. It is time to let the people decide either way….

    [Paul Armentano responds: Iowa is not a state that permits voter-initiated referendums. Changes in marijuana laws in the state must be executed legislatively, not by popular vote.]

  16. I am noticing the media has not recently asked President-elect Trump to re-state his views on medical marijuana. President-elect Trump could again, confirm his beliefs in medical marijuana and the belief each state should decide its position on medical marijuana instead of all of all the marijuana advocates wondering if the AG nominee (Jeff Sessions) will have the ability to undo all the progress the United States has made concerning marijuana. Maybe the President-elect wants the dialogue to remain vague until he is in office. Thoughts anyone?

  17. If anyone is looking for talking points or examples to give your Senators as to how Sessions has defied the US Constitution and broken the law, look here;

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/who-trumps-most-dangerous-cabinet-pick-heres-case-it-being-jeff-sessions?akid=15015.2366751.emezif&rd=1&src=newsletter1069020&t=12

    He supports the Muslim registry and went on a witch hunt for black activists who were trying to organize votes. An appropriate question in a nomination hearing is if he will condemn his infamous claim that he “liked the KKK until [he] found out they smoked pot,” as a support for domestic terrorism?

  18. Everyone should go to “legalschnauzer.com” or “legalschnauzer.blogspot” to learn the truth about Jeff Sessions & Bill Pryor.
    Be sure you read the “past articles” also.

  19. Everyone should go to “legalschnauzer.com” or “legalschnauzer.blogspot” to learn the truth about Jeff Sessions & Bill Pryor.
    Be sure to read the “past articles” also.

  20. Everyone should go to “legalschnauzer.com” or “legalschnauzer.blogspot” to learn the truth about Jeff Sessions & Bill Pryor.
    Be sure that you read the “past articles” also.

  21. I want to remain positive but after this last election I have given up hope. Even our own didn’t get out to vote. I have written to both of my senators, McConnell and Rand Paul. I have contacted my congressman Massy and received letters from all of them saying to “go pound salt.” The republican party has stopped listening to their voters long ago and the Democrats forgot about unions and blue color workers. They also forgot to communicate that when people didn’t like the direction the country was heading it was caused by both houses not the presidency.

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