Sessions updates Judiciary Committee form with previously omitted failed judgeship info

Story highlights

  • Sessions was nominated in 1986 for a seat on the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • Sessions' hearing before the Judiciary Committee is currently scheduled for January 10-11, 2017

(CNN)Late last week, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, returned the Senate Judiciary Committee's standard questionnaire -- but certain information was notably missing from his 33 pages of responses. This week, Sessions has been quietly adding materials to his committee file amid concerns from top Democrats and civil rights groups that his current submission is incomplete.

Originally, under the section of the questionnaire specifically calling for all nominations and public offices held, including any "unsuccessful nominations for appointed office," Sessions detailed his record as a federal prosecutor and senator of Alabama, but failed to list his failed bid for a federal judgeship in 1986. He supplemented his initial response on Wednesday to include the "withdrawn" judgeship.
Sessions was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be a judge on the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, but the appointment was scuttled after an African-American former colleague testified Sessions had called him "boy" and expressed past sympathies for the Ku Klux Klan -- allegations that Sessions vigorously disputed.
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    Sessions' new supplemental responses have done little to satisfy the civil rights community.
    "Given how much information he failed to provide in his first questionnaire, this two-page supplement is frankly pathetic. It comes nowhere near to addressing all the missing and relevant information he needs to supply to the Senate Judiciary Committee before hearings can move forward," Marge Baker, executive vice president of People For the American Way, said in a statement.
    Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, announced last week that the Sessions hearing for the attorney general post will take place on January 10-11, but the top Democrat on the committee, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, continues to push back.
    Last week, Feinstein requested more time to review Sessions' "voluminous record" and noted his incomplete production of certain materials. On Tuesday, Feinstein renewed her call on Grassley to allow her committee staff sufficient time to review the 150,000-plus pages of records Sessions has submitted -- this time noting: "(d)espite being voluminous, Sen. Sessions' production appears to have been put together in haste and is, on its face, incomplete."
    But Grassley is not budging. In a statement Tuesday, he noted that the bulk of Sessions' information is already publicly available, and so the hearing will proceed as scheduled in January.