The U.S. Senate voted to approve U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general Wednesday evening following a long process since his nomination by President Donald Trump for the position as leader of the Justice Department.
The Senate Judiciary Committee started hearings on Sessions’ nomination in January. At the end, the Senate voted 52-47 to confirm Sessions as U.S. Attorney General, The New York Times reports.
Trump announced his intention to nominate Sessions as the 84th attorney general in November.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Sessions’ nomination on a 11-9 party-line vote earlier this month.
“There is no one more qualified than Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “As colleagues, we all know Senator Sessions to be a man of his word. We all know he’ll enforce the laws on the books, regardless of whether he supported them while in Congress. And we know Senator Sessions will serve as an independent Attorney General.”
Sessions started his career as an attorney in Alabama and worked as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama (1975-1977), according to his website. In 1981, he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. attorney for Alabama’s Southern District. Sessions held that position for 12 years and was elected as Alabama’s attorney general in 1995. He worked there until 1997, when he started his first term in the Senate.
“I can’t express how appreciative I am for those of you who stood by me during this difficult time,” Sessions said shortly after the vote Wednesday, according to The New York Times. “By your vote tonight, I have been given a real challenge. I’ll do my best to be worthy of it.”
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange was selected by Gov. Robert Bentley to replace Sessions in the Senate.
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