Media

Prosecuting Porn? Jeff Sessions Would Consider Resurrecting Disbanded Department

Trump himself has made a cameo appearance in a porn flick.

Photo Credit: Brad McPherson / Shutterstock

Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) confirmation hearing for attorney general began January 10, and among the topics of discussion was pornography. The Senate Judiciary Committee members questioning Sessions included Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), who drew on Sessions' record in the Senate of enforcing obscenity laws.

"In the 108th Congress, you introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 77, expressing the sense of the Congress that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced throughout the United States... it passed the Senate unanimously," Hatch announced, noting that it was the only resolution of its kind to be passed by either the House or the Senate. 

Hatch then praised the Utah legislature for its own resolution that defined pornography as a public health problem. Still concerned about the "harms of obscenity," Hatch pressed Sessions, who vowed to continue to "vigorously prosecute" violators of adult obscenity laws.

“Those laws are clear and being prosecuted today and should be continued to be effectively and vigorously prosecuted in the cases that are appropriate,” Sessions said.

"Would you consider re-establishing a specific unit dedicated to prosecuting this category of crime?" Hatch asked. 

Sessions admitted he was unaware such a department had even been disbanded, but added he was open to resurrecting it. 

"It was a part of the Department of Justice for a long time and I would consider that," Sessions concluded. 

The Utah senator has prioritized the enforcement of obscenity laws when questioning every attorney general nominee for nearly 25 years. However, President-elect Donald Trump himself has appeared in porn, news of which surfaced in October after he urged Twitter users to "check out" a nonexistent sex tape of Clinton campaign surrogate Alicia Machado. 

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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