Some Dems Will Back Sessions Despite Schumer’s Opposition

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced he will oppose Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general early Thursday.

Despite Schumer’s opposition to the appointment, Sessions may attract the support of a handful of Democratic senators.

“After reviewing his record and giving careful consideration to his answers during the hearing, I am not confident in Senator Sessions’ ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration,” Schumer said in a statement. “I am also deeply concerned by his views on immigration, which I saw firsthand during the push for comprehensive immigration reform. For those reasons, I will oppose his nomination to serve as the next Attorney General.” (RELATED: Democrats Face Uphill Battle Blocking Jeff Sessions)

His opposition not withstanding, a number of Democratic senators from red states facing reelection in 2018 may join Republicans in supporting the Sessions nomination. One such Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, announced he would back Sessions in November. Others who may follow him include Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

President-elect Donald Trump won each state by at least 20 points in last year’s general election, making all three extremely vulnerable to challenges in 2018.

The entire Republican caucus appears poised to back Sessions. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate, has endorsed the Sessions nomination, and spoke in support of the appointment before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Mike Lee of Utah, strong supporters of criminal justice reform measures Sessions opposes, will also vote for his confirmation.

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