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In Defense of Jeff Sessions

by Heather Mac Donald

His work on policing and immigration merits praise

No cabinet official has delivered on Donald Trump’s key campaign promises more resoundingly than Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This fact makes the president’s recent churlish attacks on Sessions all the more galling. Trump’s most important electoral theme was the restoration of law and order to America’s inner cities and to its immigration policy. To appreciate the magnitude of Sessions’s accomplishments in these areas, it is necessary to recall how the previous Justice Department treated crime and immigration.

One of Eric Holder’s first pronouncements upon becoming attorney general was that America was a “nation of cowards” for not having enough conversations about race. As a corrective, Holder racialized a significant part of the Justice Department’s work. In 2013, he ordered all U.S. attorneys to conceal from federal judges the amount of drugs a trafficker had been caught with, so as not to trigger the statutory penalties for large-scale dealing legislated by Congress. Holder’s dissembling policy was inspired by the academic idea that a racist drug war was responsible for the disproportionate representation of blacks in the criminal-justice system.

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