Who is Attorney General Jeff Sessions?
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was born on 24 December 1946, in Selma, Alabama USA, and is a politician and lawyer, who is now best known for serving as the 84th Attorney General of the United States since 2017. Besides that, he was a senator for Alabama over the course of two decades from 1997, as a member of the Republican Party.
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Family and background
Jeff was born to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Jr. and Abbie Powe, and was named after his father, who was named after his grandfather, who had served as the president of Confederate States of America during the civil war of the mid-19th century. He was a student of Wilcox County High School, located near Camden and went on to attend Huntingdon College, Montgomery, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1969. Additionally, he was an active member of the young Republicans, and served as student body president. He then attended the University of Alabama School of Law, graduating with a JD degree in 1973.
Jeff began working as an assistant us attorney in 1975, then in 1981 President Reagan nominated him for the position of the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, a position he held for the next 12 years until under Bill Clinton’s presidency, he resigned. His office filed civil rights charges for the killing of Michael Donald in 1981 by two members of the Ku Klux Klan, and although Jeff did not prosecute the case, both of the murderers were convicted. In 1985, he prosecuted three African-American men for voter fraud which led to charges of selective prosecution of black voters. In the following year, the President Reagan nominated Jeff to serve on the position of the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, supported by Republican Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton. However, this proposal fell through.
Attorney General of Alabama 1995-1997
In 1994, he was selected to serve in the position of the Attorney General of Alabama, replacing the democrat Jimmy Evans, having earned 57% of the vote. Despite that, he was harshly criticized and called “throw-back to a shameful era” and “a disgrace”. Sessions subsequently handled the issue of school funding, but his work was found unconstitutional because of the differences between rich and white, and mostly black poor schools.
In 1996, Jeff won the Republican primary for the US Senate, succeeding Howell Heflin. During the same year, the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance sued the state after the Alabama Legislature tried to deny funding for student organizations which were the supporters of homosexuality in public universities. As Attorney General of Alabama, Jeff defended the state, adding that funding should not go to groups that advocate bad and unlawful behavior such as sodomy and sexual misconduct laws. In 2002, he won re-election, having defeated Susan Parker, a Democratic state auditor, and in 2008 defeated Vivian Davis Figures, a democratic state senator, winning his third term with 63% of the vote. Besides that, he had a successful year in 2014, when he was uncontested in the Republican primary, only opposed by Democratic candidate Victor Sanchez Williams. Besides that, Sessions also worked on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Campaign Donors and 2016 Presidential Election
As the Center for Responsive Politics stated, throughout the period from 1995 to 2016, Jeff’s most prominent donors came from real estate, health, retired and legal fields. Sessions openly supported Donald Trump throughout the latter’s presidential campaign, and actually had a chance to become Trump’s running mate, however, that position ultimately went to Mike Pence. Besides that, he was widely perceived as a potential cabinet secretary in Trump’s Administration.
Attorney General of the United States
In late 2016, Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Jeff to serve on the position of the Attorney General of the United States. He was introduced by Susan Collins who described him as a decent individual with a strong commitment to the rule of law, adding that the attacks on him were unfair. In early February 2017, Jeff was confirmed as Attorney General with a vote of 52 to 47, but later that month, he was made fun of on “Saturday Night Live”, in which Kate McKinnon portrayed him.
— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) October 28, 2014
Private Life and Social Media
Sessions has been married to Mary Blackshear since 1969, and the couple has three children and six grandchildren. Speaking about family’s religious beliefs, they are United Methodists and Jeff serves as a Sunday school teacher at the Ashland Place United Methodist Church, located in Mobile. Jeff is active on social media such as Twitter and Instagram, and is followed by 16,500 people on the former and 5,300 on the latter.