The Senate has confirmed President Trump’s nominee Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, bringing an end to a bitter confirmation fight that has dredged up past accusations of racism against the Alabama senator, reports NPR.
The vote was largely along party lines, 52-47, with only centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting yes. Sessions himself voted “present” on his own nomination.
During the past month, Democrats have brought up the past allegations of racism against Sessions, which sank his nomination by President Ronald Reagan three decades ago to be a federal judge. The then-U.S. attorney admitted he had made insensitive remarks and called some top civil rights groups such as the ACLU “un-American.”
In his confirmation hearing, Sessions pushed back, saying that his comments were taken out of context.
“I did not harbor the kind of animosities and race-based discrimination ideas I was accused of. I did not,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee, though he admitted that, “I didn’t know how to respond and didn’t respond very well” during his first failed confirmation.