The last time Mr. Sessions faced a confirmation hearing, it did not end well for him. In 1986, President Reagan nominated Mr. Sessions for a federal judgeship. But accusations of racist comments and questions about a racially charged voter-fraud prosecution torpedoed his nomination. Witnesses testified that Mr. Sessions had, among other things, referred to the American Civil Liberties Union and the N.A.A.C.P. as “un-American” for “trying to force civil rights down the throats of people.”
Back then, he seemed unprepared for such questions. He will surely face them again. This time, Republicans are leaving nothing to chance and have lined up African-American surrogates to speak on his behalf.
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