Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sign Letter from RNLA Members and Friends in Support of Sessions for AG

There are many reasons to support Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States, yet Democrats and liberals have baselessly attacked him, smearing his character and dismissing his years of public service through false, partisan attacks.  Read more about Sen. Sessions' record from RNLA's President Elliot Berke here.

There are several ways to support Sen. Sessions, including contacting your Senators and ask them to vote for Sen. Sessions for Attorney General.  This is especially important if you live in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.

You can also sign RNLA's letter in support of Sen. Sessions from its members and friends, which says:
As members and friends of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), we urge you to promptly confirm Senator Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States. 
Senator Sessions has vast experience that has prepared him well to assume the responsibilities of Attorney General. Senator Sessions proved his skills as a law enforcement official in the Department of Justice as a U.S. Attorney and his skills as an administrator as the Attorney General of Alabama. In the Senate, he showed the breadth and depth of his knowledge of legal policy and consistently demonstrated concern for solving the problems faced by U.S. citizens within the limits of his power as a member of the federal government. 
Throughout his long career, Senator Sessions has proven that he is committed to the rule of law and protecting the rights of individual citizens, without regard to race, gender, or economic status. He has sought to interpret the Constitution and the law impartially. He has shown character to remain committed to his principles even in the face of political criticism. 
The RNLA is the home of Republican lawyers in the Republican Party. In 2010, RNLA presented Senator Sessions with its highest award, the Edwin Meese III Award, in recognition of his efforts to uphold the rule of law. We are steadfast in our belief that Senator Sessions will make an exemplary Attorney General. 
Thank you for your careful consideration of Senator Sessions, his experience, and his excellent qualifications to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States. We encourage the Senate to promptly confirm Senator Sessions as Attorney General.
Add your name to the letter here.  Thank you for your support of Sen. Sessions!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Liberals' Opposition to Sessions for AG Designed to Send Message

Here are the real reasons for all the charges of racism, irrelevant liberal talking points, and grandstanding during Sen. Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearings last week:
Why does the Left find Sessions so objectionable? Because he actually believes in the rule of law and abiding by the Constitution, and he would apply the laws to everyone equally — a notion that some on the Left reject when it comes to applying those laws to groups whom they favor. They would far prefer judges and attorneys to suspend equal application of the law in favor of applying the law on the basis of identity politics.  
Despite Sessions’ almost certain confirmation, progressive politicians felt they had to provide political theater for their supporters and allies, because their supporters want them to oppose everything the Trump administration proposes and everyone the Trump administration wants to bring in. They complied with these wishes by arranging a mini-parade of “witnesses” to denounce Sessions as a racist hostile to women, minorities, gays, and immigrants (as Sen. Cory Booker did to his everlasting shame). 
I believe there was a second motivation behind this grotesque display: The Left wanted to make Sessions’ hearing as unpleasant as possible, to send a message to the hundreds of other prospective appointees looking to staff the middle levels of the executive branch.
The vast majority of those positions, while they require presidential appointment, do not require Senate confirmation. And it is at this level where most of the actual work gets done within agencies. 
The success of the Trump administration will hinge on the ability of mid-level political appointees to adhere to conservative principles and implement public policy based on those principles: smaller, more efficient government; commitment to the rule of law and the constitutional limits on the power of the federal government; respect for local sovereignty and our federal system; and rejection of the identity politics that threaten to permanently divide us as a nation.
It is vitally important that courageous Americans, especially attorneys, who value the rule of law and the Constitution, apply to serve in the Trump Administration to help Attorney General Sessions and other new leaders roll back the federal overreach of the Obama Administration.  Liberals and Democrats have not lost sight of future elections and those who will wield the power to implement the policies of President Trump and his cabinet.

Friday, January 13, 2017

EAC Commissioner Questions Extension of DHS' Power to Elections

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was designating election systems as "critical infrastructure," thereby bringing elections under the purview of DHS.  EAC Commissioner Christy McCormick raised serious questions and concerns about this extension of federal power over elections:
1. The scope and effect of this action is unknown. There was not a thorough discussion or review of what the designation means. . . . The so-called benefits of a critical infrastructure designation provided by DHS appear no different than those that have already been provided. . . . I am still unconvinced that a declaration of critical infrastructure status is necessary for DHS to help the States with security efforts, because we’ve already seen them do so.
2. This action politicizes elections. There is a reason that the Founding Fathers gave the authority of conducting elections to the States. There is a reason that when Congress set up the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), they made it a bipartisan, independent agency and gave it no regulatory authority. Our nations elections should not be handled or governed by a partisan branch of the Federal Government. The party that occupies the White House singularly controls the DHS and other Federal agencies in the Executive Branch.
Pick which party you want driving the security of our elections--are you comfortable with the other party doing so? It's important that we maintain the decentralized nature of our elections so that our voters and citizens can maintain faith and confidence that our elections are run freely and fairly, and that they can depend on the integrity and accuracy of the outcomes. 
3. The designation creates a layer of non-transparency and unnecessary Federally controlled bureaucracy. . . . 
[4.] The technical explanation for this designation is insufficient. . . .  
[5.] The critical infrastructure designation opens the States to legal, financial and privacy liabilities. . . . 
[6.] The process leading up to this designation has been disingenuous, at best. . . .
Commissioner McCormick concluded by requesting that President-elect Trump reverse the action and provide for productive, non-instrusive federal-state cooperation on election security:
Elections officials asked for more time, conversation, and discussion and a thorough understanding of the scope and benefits of the critical infrastructure designation. That request was flat out denied by the unilateral action of Secretary Johnson. I ask that President-elect Trump and his designated DHS Secretary General Kelly immediately reverse this unjustified and unsupported critical infrastructure designation, as well as Executive Order 13694, review the actions of DHS, provide a non-intrusive way for our intelligence community to provide information and resources to our election administrators, and leave the conduct of elections to the States as mandated in our Constitution. Thank you. 
Thank you, Commissioner McCormick, for standing up for election administrators across the country and fighting this federal intrusion into election administration.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

William Smith Eloquently Supports Sen. Sessions for AG

During Senator Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearings yesterday, and indeed throughout the last month, William Smith, former Chief Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, ably and eloquently supported Sen. Sessions' nomination for attorney general.  Mr. Smith speaks from his vast personal and professional knowledge of Sen. Sessions, defending him from attacks on both his character and record
I’m here today to express my absolute support and full confidence in Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated by President-Elect Trump, to serve as Attorney General of the United States. . . .  
I did not know Senator Sessions in 1986, but I have studied his record. I have reviewed the evidence and even by the lowest standards, anyone looking at the evidence fairly could not say that he is a racist. All of the witnesses who testified against him in 1986 were discredited, with at least two of them writing the Committee to admit they had provided false testimony. In the one case that has received prominent attention, all of the defendants agreed to plead guilty to at least one count, providing a pretty clear indication that even they thought they were guilty of something. I know that he prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan, stood up against George Wallace in Alabama and filed lawsuits to desegregate the schools, but those are things I’ve only been able to read about and investigate over the years. The real experience is my personal experience.  
Again, I have 20 years of history with Senator Sessions. What I’ve learned over that period of time is that he is an honorable man, who believes in the rule of law, pursues justice under all circumstances and loves his family and friends. I’ve learned that Senator Sessions is willing to debate anyone on the merits, but he’s not willing to attack their character. In my 10 years of working for him and writing speeches for him, he would agree to debate on the merits, but he would not pursue personal insults or character assassinations. That is what makes this process so painful to witness. From my point of view, Senator Sessions has respected his Senate colleagues, never sought revenge for the way he was mistreated; he has worked fairly with them, debated them vigorously, but never pursued a derogatory approach. I simply wish everyone would take the same approach as Senator Sessions. What I’ve learned through my 20 year history with him is that integrity, honor, and humility is more important that a political victory where personal attacks are the means to achieve that victory.
I’m here to support the nomination of Senator Sessions because everyone in this city who knows him, everyone in Alabama and around the country who knows him, might not agree with some of his policy views, but not one person can honestly look into his heart and not see the love he has for his country, the rule of law, and the Department of Justice. I support Jeff Session because he’s the exactly what we need at the Department of Justice, someone would will enforce and defend the laws of the United States regardless of whether he agrees with them personally, because that’s his job. I wholeheartedly stake my reputation on Senator Sessions. He will serve our nation well. 
In addition to testifying before the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Smith has been active testifying before the public in the media.  Thank you, Mr. Smith, for setting the record straight on Sen. Sessions from your actual knowledge and experience.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sessions as Attorney General Would End the Politicization of DOJ

I revere our Constitution and am committed to the rule of law. And you know that I believe in fairness, impartiality, and equal justice under the law
Compare this to President Obama’s first Attorney General Eric Holder.  Eric Holder often acted more like a counsel to the DNC than United States Attorney General.  He even called himself Obama’s “wingman.” As Senator Grassley stated during Lorretta Lynch’s hearing:
Grassley accused the department of becoming “deeply politicized” under Holder at the opening of the confirmation hearing.
“But that’s what happens when the attorney general of the United States views himself, in his own words, as the president’s 'wingman,’ ” Grassley said.
Unfortunately, that politicization did not end with Lynch replacing Holder.  Obama’s next Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, met with Bill Clinton while his wife and the Democrat nominee to take Obama's place, Hillary, was under Department of Justice investigation.  Even former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod said this was “foolish”.  Yet while some talked of her recusing over the Clinton email scandal, in the end Lynch refused:
Lynch has come under criticism after she met privately on board an aircraft in Phoenix with former President Bill Clinton. She described the encounter as a purely “social” occurrence that won’t “have a bearing” on the e-mail investigation and said: “I certainly would not do it again.” But she emphasized that she wouldn’t recuse herself from her role in reviewing and acting on prosecutors’ findings.
Compare this approach with Senator Sessions' answer on the Hillary Clinton investigation:
Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions said at his confirmation hearing Tuesday that if confirmed he plans to recuse himself from all issues related to any investigation into Hillary Clinton. He said his rhetoric on the issue during the campaign could lead people to doubt he’d be fair in considering the matter. “I do believe that that could place my objectivity in question… I believe the proper thing for me to do would be for me to recuse myself from any questions regarding those kinds of investigations,” Sessions declared.
The contrast could not be greater.  After 8 years of Attorney Generals that acted like DNC Counsels and politicized the Department of Justice, Senator Sessions would represent a return to ethics and the rule of law.  Everyone should support Senator Sessions to be the next Attorney General.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

RNLA Officially Urges Senate to Confirm Sen. Sessions as Next AG

Today, the RNLA sent a letter urging the Senate to quickly confirm Sen. Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States:
Senator Sessions has vast experience that has prepared him well to assume the responsibilities of Attorney General. Senator Sessions proved his skills as a law enforcement official in the Department of Justice as a U.S. Attorney and his skills as an administrator as the Attorney General of Alabama. In the Senate, he showed the breadth and depth of his knowledge of legal policy and consistently demonstrated concern for solving the problems faced by U.S. citizens within the limits of his power as a member of the federal government. 
Throughout his long career, Senator Sessions has proven that he is committed to the rule of law and protecting the rights of individual citizens, without regard to race, gender, or economic status. He has sought to interpret the Constitution and the law impartially. He has shown character to remain committed to his principles even in the face of political criticism. 
The RNLA is the home of Republican lawyers in the Republican Party. In 2010, we presented Senator Sessions our highest award, the Edwin Meese III Award, in recognition of his efforts to uphold the rule of law. We are steadfast in our belief that Senator Sessions will make an exemplary Attorney General. 
Thank you for your careful consideration of Senator Sessions, his experience, and his excellent qualifications to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States. We encourage the Judiciary Committee, and the whole Senate, to promptly confirm Senator Sessions as Attorney General. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

RNLA Founding Chair Bob Horn Strongly Endorses Jeff Sessions for AG

RNLA's Founding Chair Bob Horn writes a strong endorsement of Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General:
I strongly believe, quoting President Obama that “elections have consequences.” In 1995, then-Senator Joe Biden told Tim Russert on national television, “I think the advice-and-consent responsibility of the Senate does not permit us to deprive the president of the United States from being able to appoint that person or persons who have a particular point of view unless it can be shown that their temperament does not fit the job, they are morally incapable or unqualified for the job, or that they have committed crimes of moral turpitude." Therefore the question then becomes one of whether the candidate is morally incapable or unqualified for the job. I can testify unequivocally that Senator Sessions is a man of honor and he will bring ability and integrity to the office of Attorney General. 
Over many years I have gotten to know, like and respect Senator Jeff Sessions and have been impressed by his distinguished record of public service. From 1981 to 1993 he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994 and to the U.S. Senate in 1996, being re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. Philosophically, Senator Sessions is considered to be a very conservative member of the United States Senate whose views coincide with many of the positions advocated by President-elect Trump. 
In my view, the fact that Senator Sessions opposes many of President Obama’s “social issue” initiatives that evoke intense partisan advocacy and debate does not disqualify him from holding a high public office. In fact, I believe the opposite is true. In the case of these controversial policy considerations, emotions run high and they can only be resolved in an atmosphere that allows for open and frank discussion. In my mind, it is counterproductive for those opposing Senator Sessions' nomination to engage in ad hominem attacks negatively characterizing him professionally simply because they disagree with him politically. 
Setting aside Senator Sessions' conservatism, those opposed to his nomination engage in dredging up old controversies which left-leaning legal scholars hope will mire Senator Sessions in a messy and unnecessary confirmation fight. After President-elect Donald Trump named Sessions as his choice for the next attorney general, detractors pointed back to the senator’s failure to win Senate approval after being nominated by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. district court judge in 1986. During those hearings, some colleagues alleged he that he referred to the NAACP and other civil rights organizations as un-American and once quipped that he thought that the Klu Klux Klan was “OK” until he learned they smoked marijuana. 
Admittedly, some people, in a misguided attempt at humor, say things they later regret. However, from my experience, I can attest to the fact that Senator Sessions is not a racist. In his own words, he described the allegations against him as heartbreaking, saying, “That was not fair; that was not accurate. Those were false charges using distortions of anything that I did. And it really was not. I never had those kinds of views, and I was caricatured in a way that was not me.” 
Significantly, Congresswoman Martha Roby, who has served alongside Senator Sessions in the Alabama Congressional Delegation for the last six years, said the attacks on Sessions are "totally unfair." Roby said the latest attacks are an example of the same type of smear campaign that was used against him the last time. She went on to say that she is reminded of what former Senator Arlen Specter, certainly not a conservative, said that in all his years of service, the vote he regretted most was the one he cast not to confirm Jeff Sessions for the bench. He said that because he came to know Jeff Sessions and understand his character. “Our country would be very fortunate to have Jeff Sessions in a leadership role, and I believe if that happens his critics will be proven wrong. I too believe that Senator Sessions is a good man and eminently qualified to be Attorney General of the United States. I know Jeff Sessions and believe in his judgement and integrity. He fully understands the importance rule of law as it relates to the proper administration of justice as well as anyone who has ever held public office. Therefore, I urge that everybody, within RNLA who feels as I do, contact their respective Senators, regardless of their political persuasion, and urge them to confirm Senator Sessions’ nomination to be the next Attorney General of the United States. 
I have written this article to express my personal beliefs and feel obliged to point out that I am not necessarily representing the views of any of my colleagues at my firm. 
Bob Horn 
Founding Chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association