According to The Hill, Sessions has agreed to lead the Republicans on the committee until 2011, at which time he will give the seat to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
The Judiciary Committee is tasked with reviewing President Barack Obama's appointments to the federal courts and the Justice Department. Foremost among those appointments will be a replacement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
During the the Bush Administration, Sessions blasted Democratic filibusters of judicial appointees. Will he be so eager for up-or-down votes with a Democratic administration in charge? Left in Alabama already wonders aloud which of Sessions' past prognostications might come back to haunt him, and the Huffington Post has already begun dredging those sound bites.
Similarly, the left-of-center Talking Points Memo labels Sessions a "crypto-segregationist" and revisits Sessions' own appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Ronald Reagan appointed Sessions to the federal bench in 1986. However, the committee heard testimony that Sessions had called civil rights groups "un-American" and "Communist-inspired." The appointment fizzled, never making it to a vote before the full Senate.
(Sources: Politico, The Hill, Left in Alabama, TPM, The New Republic)
Washington Post: Sessions takes Specter's Judiciary post
Los Angeles Times: Sessions will replace Specter on Judiciary Committee
New York Times: GOP picks conservative for Senate Judiciary post