Five Reasons Jeff Sessions Would Be No Friend of Liberty In the Trump Administration
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was an early and vocal supporter of Donald Trump's presidential bid. Now that his man is headed for the White House, the 69-year-old senator seems likely to be rewarded with a plum cabinet position.
Sessions' name has been floated for a number of cabinet positions, including Attorney General, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Homeland Security.
Here are five reasons Sessions would be no friend to libertarians if he does indeed leave the Senate and join the Trump administration:
1. He was not only for "the Wall" before Trump thought it was cool, he's against legal immigration, too.
More than a decade ago, Sessions was pushing for a fortified barrier on our Southern border, and has never let go of the dream. He has also opposed every congressional attempt at immigration reform since then, of which Reason's Shikha Dalmia wrote, "Sessions has done more than any human alive to torpedo every sensible immigration reform effort and makes no bones about his wish to basically stop all immigration. He moves the goalposts on reform constantly, recently even calling for the elimination of the H-1B visa program for foreign techies, which sent chills down the IT sector's spine."
It's not just illegal immigration Sessions opposes, he's also fond of spreading the canard that all immigrants are a drain on the economy and take the jobs which are the birthright of all native-born Americas, when in fact, the opposite is much closer to the truth.
As Nick Gillespie noted, Sessions' hostility to the free movement of people also makes him no friend of free trade. On that topic, Daniel Griswold wrote at Cato at Liberty that "Sen. Sessions supports our freedom to trade only as long as it does not affect any noisy special interests in his own state."
2. He thinks only bad people do drugs, m'kay.
After previously mischaracterizing certain countries' efforts at drug decriminalization as "legalization" and incorrectly arguing that they have "failed," Sessions lamented that Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign against drugs has been relegated to history and replaced by a growing tolerance for the legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana.
At a hearing earlier this year, Sessions said:
I can't tell you how concerning it is for me, emotionally and personally, to see the possibility that we will reverse the progress that we've made....
It was the prevention movement that really was so positive, and it led to this decline. The creating of knowledge that this drug is dangerous, it cannot be played with, it is not funny, it's not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don't smoke marijuana.
Reason's Jacob Sullum wrote of Sessions' comments:
This is not the first time that Sessions, who served as a U.S. attorney during the Reagan administration, has pined for the days of Just Say No. But crediting Nancy Reagan for a decline in drug use that began before she latched onto her pet cause is scientifically problematic, and so are the messages Sessions wants the youth of America to hear—especially the idea that "good people don't smoke marijuana," which condemns at least two-fifths of the population (and probably more like half, allowing for underreporting by survey respondents).
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Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.