Jeff Sessions

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Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions.jpg
U.S. Senate, Alabama
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 18
PredecessorHowell Heflin (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$12,724,180
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Alabama Attorney General
Bachelor'sHuntingdon College, 1969
J.D.University of Alabama, 1973
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1973-1986
Date of birthDecember 24, 1946
Place of birthSelma, AL
Net worth$6,789,034
Office website
Jeff Sessions (b. December 24, 1946) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Alabama. Sessions was first elected to the Senate in 1996.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Sessions is a "rank-and-file Republican".[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Sessions's academic, professional and political career:[2]

  • 1969: Graduated from Huntingdon College, Montgomery
  • 1973: Graduated from University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa
  • 1973-1975: Practiced law in Russellville
  • 1973-1977: U.S. Army reserves, attained the rank of captain
  • 1977-1981: Practiced law in Mobile
  • 1981-1993: United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama
  • 1994-1996: Alabama Attorney General
  • 1997-Present: U.S Senator from Alabama

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Sessions serves on the following Senate committees[3]:


  • Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Airland
    • Subcommittee on SeaPower
    • Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Ranking Member
  • Budget, Ranking Member
  • Environment and Public Works
    • Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
    • Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power
  • Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security


Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Sessions was first appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after he was sworn in on January of 1997.[4]

Senator Sessions serves as the Republican Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. Senator Sessions also serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Crime and Drugs, Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, and Terrorism and Homeland Security.[5]

Denied a federal judgeship

When Senator Sessions was a US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, former President Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions to a judgeship in that district in 1985. It was during a confirmation hearing in 1986 that Senator Sessions was denied a federal judgeship when the committee was deadlocked on a 9-9 vote which prevented Sessions from having a confirmation vote on the Senate floor.[6]

It was during his 1986 confirmation hearing that Sessions was accused by a fellow African-American US Attorney for displaying racial insensitivity. This was before his confirmation hearing when Sessions prosecuted three civil rights workers for voter fraud, alleging that the three workers tampered with ballots. The case was used by civil rights groups in opposing the confirmation of Jeff Sessions.[6]

Thomas Figures, a former Assistant US Attorney that worked under Sessions, accused the former US Attorney of calling him "boy" in conversations which led to the allegations of racial insensitivity against him. Another Assistant US Attorney that worked under Sessions, Edward Vulevich, challenged Figure's testimony.[6]

The accusations leveled on Sessions led former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden to pressure former President Reagan to drop his nomination for Sessions. Many legal experts considered this one of the first instances when confirmation hearings for federal judges turned into very partisan battles that exist currently in the Senate.[6]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Sessions voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[7]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[8][9][10]

According to the website Breitbart, Sessions was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[11][12]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[13]



On November 4, 2008, Jeff Sessions won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Vivian Davis Figures (D) in the general election.[14]

U.S. Senate, Alabama General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJeff Sessions incumbent 63.4% 1,305,383
     Democratic Vivian Davis Figures 36.5% 752,391
     N/A Write-in 0.1% 2,417
Total Votes 2,060,191

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Sessions is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Sessions raised a total of $12,724,180 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[17]

Jeff Sessions's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 US Senate (Alabama) Won $6,370,595
2002 US Senate (Alabama) Won $6,353,585
Grand Total Raised $12,724,180


Breakdown of the source of Sessions's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Sessions won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Sessions's campaign committee raised a total of $6,370,595 and spent $3,906,680.[18]

His top 5 contributors between 2003-2008 were:


Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Sessions missed 110 of 5,168 roll call votes from January 1997 to March 2013. This amounts to 2.1%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of March 2013.[19]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Sessions paid his congressional staff a total of $2,339,784 in 2011. He ranks 19th on the list of the lowest paid Republican Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranks 25th overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Alabama ranks 50th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[20]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Sessions's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $2,772,070 and $10,805,998. That averages to $6,789,034, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth decreased by 57.15% from 2010.[21]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Sessions's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $6,224,066 and $25,460,000. That averages to $15,842,033, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[22]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Sessions ranked 22nd in the conservative rankings among U.S. Senators in 2012.[23]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Sessions ranked 12th in the liberal rankings among U.S. Senators.[24]

Political positions

Percentage voting with party

The website Open Congress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Sessions votes with the Republican Party 89.9% of the time. This ranks 28th among the 47 Senate Republicans in 2011.[25]


Sessions and his wife, Mary Blackshear, have three children.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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External links


  1. Gov Track "Jeff Sessions," Accessed March 3, 2012
  2. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III," Accessed October 20, 2011
  3. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  4. "Senate Judiciary" List of previous members
  5. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of Subcommittees
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "ABC News" The Racial Controversy That Cost Sen. Sessions a Judgeship in 1986, June 2, 2009
  7. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  8. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  9. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  10. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  11. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  12. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  13. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  17. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Jeff Sessions," Accessed March 25, 2013
  18. Open Secrets "Jeff Sessions 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed October 22 2011
  19. GovTrack, "Jeff Sessions," Accessed April 2, 2013
  20. LegiStorm "Jeff Sessions"
  21., "Sessions, (R-Alabama), 2011"
  22., "Sessions, (R-Alabama), 2010"
  23. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  24. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  25. Open Congress "Voting With Party," Accessed October 19, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Howell T. Heflin
U.S. Senate - Alabama
Succeeded by