Sessions: We're Gonna Do This Crack Cocaine Thing

More

Sen.Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told a witness at today's judicial confirmation hearing that he wants to "do this crack cocaine thing."

Sessions (R-AL), the former U.S. attorney for southern Alabama and state attorney general, was referring to reduced sentences for crack cocaine related offenses, which are generally harsher than sentences for powder cocaine convictions--a fact that, activists point out, disparately affects poor, and often minority, offenders. But Sessions's particular wording caused a stir at the otherwise dry fourth day of hearings for Sonia Sotomayor.

The Alabama senator made the comment while greeting Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and a witness for committee Democrats, as he welcomed each witness who sat before the committee today after they finished their opening statements on Sotomayor.

Sessions welcomed Henderson, in turn. Then he said, in an upbeat tone, "We're gonna do this crack cocaine thing."

(Henderson testified on crack cocaine sentencing in April before the Judiciary Sucommittee on Crime and Drugs, of which Sessions is a member, Sessions in turn thanked Henderson for appearing.)

The committee and audience found this quite amusing. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked Sessions, multiple times, to "please restate."

Sessions corrected himself: "We're gonna reduce the burden of crack cocaine cases and make them fair."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In