Greg Sargent writes in The Morning Plum in today’s Washington Post:
“Jeff Sessions has now been confirmed as attorney general, and this vaults him to a position in American life that is unique. Perhaps more than any other person, Sessions stands at the nexus of many of the potential plot lines that we should fear most about the Donald Trump presidency.
Here are the possibilities we need to worry about. President Trump’s refusal to divest from his business holdings creates the possibility of untold conflicts of interest and even full-blown corruption on an unprecedented scale. The hostility of Trump and Republicans to a full, independent probe into Russian meddling in the election may mean there will never be a full public accounting of what happened, which could make a repeat more likely.
Trump’s year of lies about voter fraud, and his campaign vows of explicit persecution of minorities, could signal further voter suppression efforts, weakened civil rights protections, and the use of state power against Muslims and undocumented immigrants in draconian or discriminatory ways. Trump’s well-documented authoritarian impulses could conceivably tip him into genuine authoritarian rule, in which, for instance, the power of the state is turned against critics or political opponents.
Sessions is now in a unique position to facilitate and enable — or, by contrast, to act as a legal check on — some or all of these possibilities, should they metastasize (or metastasize further) into serious threats to vulnerable minorities or, more broadly, to our democracy. Here are the things to fear:
You can read the full article at the link. Although noting Session’s involvement with immigration, Sargent overlooks what is likely to be AG Session’s biggest legacy, for better or, as many expect, for worse. That is his unilateral control over the United States Immigration Courts, perhaps America’s largest and most important Federal Court System, with 530,000+ pending cases, and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) about to be pushed into the already clogged “pipeline” under President Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration enforcement. Unlike most administrative courts within the Executive Branch, the Immigration Court not only has authority to order what in many cases can be indefinite “civil detention” but also to impose permanent exile on individuals (and, as a de facto matter on their U.S. citizen families), including some who were legally admitted to the United States and have resided here many years with “green cards.” Even in the area of criminal law, few judges in any system possess comparable authority to permanently affect the lives of so many individuals, their families, and their communities.