Republican’s have signaled their intention to oppose President Barack Obama with the selection of Senator Jeff Sessions ® Alabama to replace Arlen Specter as the ranking republican on the senate judiciary committee. In a curious twist of political fate, Session’s will become the ranking member of a panel that rejected his 1986 appointment to the federal bench, after individuals claimed he habitually made racist remarks concerning African American’s.

Sessions is alleged to have called a white civil rights lawyer a disgrace to his race and was ranked the fifth most conservative member of Congress by the National review in 2007, The Alabama legislator is extremely popular pick for the post among white evangelical social conservatives. In the wake of last week’s announcement, by Supreme Court justice David Souter he is stepping down. Sessions selection is considered a pivotal political move by GOP leadership as democrats and republicans, gear up to debate who ever President Barack Obama taps to replace the courts key swing vote.

The Senate exercises a constitutional role of advise and consent, in respect to the President’s choice of a new justice. Until the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, baring a surprise exposure of serious moral and ethical lapses by an appointee, the senate traditionally approved who ever the President nominated, despite the usual partisan wrangling that would take place during the judiciary vetting process. Democrats decided to politicize the nomination process in 1987, and successfully blocked the appointment of Robert Bork. Since the rejection of Bork, Both democrats and republicans have made little attempt to hide the purely partisan nature of the judiciary process in vetting a Presidents choice for the High Court.

Despite having a democratic majority on the committee, the current rules of procedure require the consent of at least one republican member, before the nomination can be sent to the full senate for a vote. While democrats control the application of rules and could change it to permit a simple majority yes vote to allow a full vote in the senate, few political observers speculate conservative democrats who dominate the congressional caucus, would permit any change in senate rules that might provide minority liberals with an opportunity to strengthen their political fortunes.

A video concerning Senator Sessions racial views can be viewed here

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