Jeff Sessions tells Senate confirmation hearing he still opposes same-sex marriage and Roe v Wade ruling

When asked if he still thought Roe v Wade was the ‘worst colossal erroneous decision made by Congress’, he answered to the affirmative

Rachael Revesz
New York
@RachaelRevesz
Tuesday 10 January 2017 17:25
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Mr Sessions promised to follow the laws - as they stand - but made no mention of what happened if other laws were introduced
Mr Sessions promised to follow the laws - as they stand - but made no mention of what happened if other laws were introduced

Incoming attorney general Jeff Sessions admitted that he still opposed same-sex marriage and Roe v Wade, a 1973 law that guarantees a women’s right to an abortion.

Mr Sessions said he would "respect and follow" both laws in their current form, but admitted he still held his controversial personal views.

When asked by Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein if he still believed that Roe v Wade was the "worst colossal erroneous decision made by Congress", he said he did hold the same beliefs and that the law "violated the constitution".

"I haven't said a woman's right to choose or Roe V Wade is not the law of the land… so I'd follow that law," he added.

He was also asked if he still opposed same sex marriage and whether he would uphold the federal law.

"[The] supreme court has ruled on that. The dissent was vigorous."

"The majority of the court has established the definition of marriage for the entire United States of America and I will follow that decision," he added.

He was also questioned why he opposed The Violence Against Women Act in 2013.

He responded that he had only objected against certain provisions, and had preferred an alternative bill with "tougher punishments" from senator Chuck Grassley.

He added that he supported the bill in 2000 and 2005.

"It’s frustrating to say I was against it when I supported it in the past," he said.

When it came to opposing expanding protections for LGBT people, saying it was "unwarranted" and "unconstitutional" in 2010, he replied in the hearing: "The law has spoken, it has been passed by Congress and you can be sure I will uphold it."

Mr Sessions, however, is also a strong advocate of states setting their own laws. If a state pushed to ban abortion or same sex marriage, he did not mention how he would deal with that situation.

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