Sessions: We're Gonna Do This Crack Cocaine Thing

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."

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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In