CATO: Conservatives Should Think Twice before Supporting Jeff Sessions


Sessions will be confirmed but small government people need to keep a close eye on him. Some of his positions are very big government and benefit the current crony system.

Marijuana laws for instance should be liberalized and dealt with on a state level. That is the CONSTITUTIONAL position and as such it should be the position of any American conservative. Yet Jeff Sessions appears to have a beef with pot even though pot legalization at a state level was one of the few wins fans of small government had during the Obama years. Additionally Sessions has supported civil forfeiture laws, policing for profit, which is also of very serious concern.

It is our hope that Senator Sessions as Attorney General will recognize our federalist, small government constitutional system and the need to revive it, even if that conflicts with some of his own views. We hope he will not embrace big government “conservative” policies. That would be a big mistake and could potentially blow up the Trump/conservative/libertarian coalition.

Libertarians are a vital part of Trump’s continued success. They will suck up some things but any attack on cannabis federalism and/or the continuation of or even expansion of the deeply crony practice of policing for profit will find opposition from them.

And remember “conservatives” who wouldn’t even say they were libertarian inclined are supposed to be for shrinking government. Not expanding it.

(From CATO)

For instance, he sharply departs from the growing bipartisan consensus on criminal-justice reform. Leading conservatives and libertarians, from former Texas governor Rick Perry to Senators such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul to the Koch brothers, have embraced the need to make our criminal-justice system more equitable, pushing for a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and a reduction in the incarceration of minor non-violent offenders.

Sessions has not been among them. He was a leading opponent of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which reduced federal sentences for some non-violent drug offenses and other crimes, and has long been one of the most ardent drug warriors in Congress. At a time when 32 states have legalized medical and/or recreational use of marijuana, Sessions told a Senate hearing last April that, “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.” His opposition to state legalization measures promises to put the Justice Department in conflict with conservative principles of federalism.

Moreover, as George Will has pointed out, Sessions also opposes the reform of asset-forfeiture laws. He has defended these laws, which are considered by most observers to be widely abused, as a means of taking money from people who have “done nothing in their lives but sell dope.” He’s even advocated allowing the federal government to step in and seize assets when state law-enforcement agencies won’t.

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