Sessions continued to say the White House will continue to strengthen law enforcement.
During his confirmation hearing for attorney general, Sessions said he'd been mischaracterized. The sheriff as the enforcement wing of a local court is a unique feature of the English common law tradition from which our own legal system nearly entirely derives.
Sessions faced an avalanche of scrutiny before he was approved as attorney general by the Senate over racist remarks he allegedly made decades ago.
Here's what Sessions actually said yesterday at the NSA: "I want to thank every sheriff in America".
Sessions was once denied a federal judgeship in his native Alabama over allegations that he had referred to a black co-worker as "boy". "Before reporters sloppily implied nefarious meaning behind the term, we would suggest that they read any number of the Supreme Court opinions that use the term", spokesman Ian Prior reportedly said, referencing how the Supreme Court has previously used similar language.
On top of that, there is a constituency which Jeff Sessions has spoken to throughout his entire life who definitely cheered when they heard this phrase, because it rhetorically matches up with the rest of the dog whistles blown in their direction. Brian Schatz: "Do you know anyone who says "Anglo-American heritage" in a sentence?"
Since our founding, the independently elected Sheriff has been seen as the people's protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and amenable to the people. "The Sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage".
The Justice Department defended Session's comments, explaining that the term "Anglo-American law" is one commonly used in the legal system. "Or they could simply put "Anglo-American law" into Google", Prior said in a statement. The Encyclopedia Britannica entry for "Common law, also called Anglo-American law" was penned by professors from Harvard and the University of London.