Republican Rep. Pete Sessions compares the sale of marijuana to slavery

Rep. Clay Higgins

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) turned a House Homeland Security hearing into a circus on Tuesday by questioning Secretary Mayorkas but refusing to let him answer (video).

Higgins: A major threat to the Homeland is clearly an arterial bleed at our Southern border and the disintegration of our sovereignty down there. And the top threat to individual rights and freedoms of Americans from sea to shining sea, Mr. Wray, is the weaponization of the FBI against the American citizens that you have sworn to serve. Secretary Mayorkas, for the record, are you aware or have you authorized CBP agents to release illegal aliens into America without identifying, screening, or vetting them properly or harvesting even basic biometric data like fingerprints?

Mayorkas: Congressman, our nation’s sovereignty stands strong and our brave men and women in the border patrol and throughout U.S. customs requests—

Higgins: Are you aware of or have you authorized CBP agents to release illegal aliens into America without having properly vetted, identified them, or collected at least basic biometric data like fingerprints?

Mayorkas: Congressman—

Higgins: You’ve got millions coming across!

Chairman: Mr. Higgins, allow the Secretary to answer—

Higgins: It is my time, Mr. Chairman. If I wanna reclaim my time, I will.

Chairman: Well—

Higgins: I’m going to move on without an answer. Mr. Chairman, are you asking for me to yield you time?

Chairman: No, I’m the chair—

Higgins: Then, I’m going to reclaim my time. Moving on now, Secretary Mayorkas.

Chairman: No, look—the gentleman from—

Higgins: Are you interrupting my time, Mr. Chairman? Or are you requesting me to yield you time?

Chairman: I’m trying to ensure that we conduct—

Higgins: You’re interfering with my five minutes, Mr. Chairman.

Rep. Pete Sessions

During a House Oversight hearing on cannabis reform, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) compared the legal sale of cannabis to the history of slavery in the United States (video):

Sessions: The bottom line is: it is addictive. It is addictive in causing people to live their daily lives not only with marijuana but with these dangerous potencies. Cannabis potency rose every year on an average by 0.29 percent from 1970 to 2017. Meaning, it is true that when I was in high school that it was far far less—hundreds of times less—potent. Today there are marketplaces that increase THC to increase not only the high but also that rate that would cause addiction. It is important for us to know that the most popular strains in Colorado range from 17 percent to 28 THC by 2017. 400 percent increase from 1970.

Sessions: The product is being marketed, the product is being sold, the product is being advocated by people who were in it to make money. Slavery made money also and was a terrible circumstance that this country and the world went through for many many years.

Later, one of the witnesses, Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Randall Woodfin, pushed back against Rep. Session’s comparison of marijuana and slavery (video):

Mr chairman, just briefly before I answer the congresswoman’s question, words matter. And while I’m on record I just would like to say to you directly and [to] your committee members, that putting cannabis and slavery in the same category is patently offensive and flagrant, so I wanted to state that.

Sen. Ted Cruz

Republican senators used a judicial nominee hearing to paint a Black judge from South Carolina—and by extension, the Biden administration—as fueling violent crime.

S.C. Circuit Judge DeAndrea Benjamin was nominated to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in August. In addition to her significant legal experience, including working as an assistant state attorney general under former Attorney General Charlie Condon, Benjamin has the support of South Carolina’s two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott.

Some Republican senators, however, suggested that Benjamin wrongly let dangerous individuals out of jail. In one case, Albertus Lewis shot and injured two Lexington County deputies while out on bond for a previous murder. As Benjamin explained to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), she initially denied Lewis bond but after languishing in jail without trial for two years, ultimately gave bond when the state failed to try the case (video).

Cruz: There has been considerable discussion nationally about policies of Democratic district attorneys and Democratic judges releasing violent criminals who in turn turn around and commit more violent crimes and make our communities less safe. This has been a problem plaguing the country as we’ve seen crime rates skyrocket and the murder rate skyrocket. And it is a problem that has been exacerbated by the Biden Administration and the Democrats in the Senate who continue to further the priorities of releasing violent criminals. When I look at your record, I see a pattern of doing the same thing.

Cruz: You’re very familiar with the case of Albertus Lewis. Albertus Lewis allegedly shot Myra Sanchez in the head and then dumped her body in a wheelchair outside of a hospital in downtown Columbia. You granted Lewis a surety bond in the amount of 150 thousand dollars. After you did so, it turned out that Lewis was involved in yet another violent incident…Do you think it was a mistake to release a violent criminal on bond when he went out and committed yet another violent crime?

Benjamin: Thank you Senator. As I previously stated, Mr Lewis, when he initially appeared before me, I denied his bond. It was not until after the state violated the Court’s order to try his case—there was issues with discovery missing in the case—and Senator, I’ll just say this the case is still pending. There’s issues with discovery in the case and the defendant was ascertained his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. That was after two years when he initially was before me and I denied his bond. In considering any bond, I consider the U.S. Constitution, the South Carolina Constitution, and I have to consider the bond statute of the General Assembly in South Carolina.

Cruz: But, you know, that’s not a comfort to the families of the sheriff’s deputies who were shot by the violent criminal you released… What I find amazing is the Biden Administration claims they bear no responsibility for releasing violent criminals who turn around and murder people. But then President Biden keeps nominating judicial nominees who have a history of releasing violent criminals who turn around and murder people.