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Sotomayor hearings: Sen. Jeff Sessions' personal connection to the process

July 13, 2009 |  7:40 am


Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama has given his opening statement.

Sessions is the committee’s ranking Republican, ever since Arlen Specter switched his affiliation to Democrat.

Sessions has an interesting personal connection to this process.

He came before this committee 22 years ago, when he was nominated by President Reagan to be a U.S. district judge. The committee killed the nomination on a 9-9 vote, in part because some critics of Sessions testified that he had demonstrated “gross insensitivity” on racial issues. A U.S. attorney had testified that he had heard Sessions claim that he had once admired the Ku Klux Klan.

--Kate Linthicum

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Photo: Sen. Sessions makes his opening statement.  Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images