Jeff Sessions speaks to 'Anglo American heritage' of sheriff's office

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Consequentially, outside of the United Kingdom and America, there are sheriffs in the former British Colonies of Australia, Nigeria, Canada, South Africa, and even India, where the office survives as a ceremonial position of honor. His point ... was that, "since our founding, the independently elected sheriff" has played a "critical" role within a law enforcement system that developed in England and was then adopted in America.

The term apparently refers to the English heritage of the word "sheriff", which comes from the Anglo-Saxon words "shire", meaning "county", and "reeve", meaning "guardian", Cato analyst David Kopel explained in The Washington Post.

The NAACP statement also said Sessions's "racially-tinged comments" should give "all people reason to worry".

In 2009, for example, he said he hoped to close the detention centre in Cuba in a way "that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo-American legal system, but doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up". The Encyclopedia Britannica entry for "Common law, also called Anglo-American law" was penned by professors from Harvard and the University of London.

"That said, I am confused as to why this is a story that you would need a comment on", Prior added.

The selection of Mr Sessions as Attorney General drew criticism from detractors who pointed out that in 1986, the Senate rejected his nomination to be a federal judge amid accusations of racism. It's worth noting, however, that Sessions ad-libbed meandered from his prepared remarks and tossed the term in when speaking to a broader audience, especially given how part of his speech was praising sheriffs for assisting the Trump administrations enforce its illegal immigration crackdown. They will know what we do here today, and they will treat all of us accordingly in the future-our soldiers, our diplomats, our journalists, anybody who travels beyond these borders.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, called it dog-whistle language meant to "pit Americans against each other" and said he had no regrets about voting against Sessions' confirmation.

The Department of Justice told ABC News that Sessions was referring to the common law legal heritage and not race.

Sessions' clearly racist views shouldn't come as a surprise. Yet while corrupt police departments perpetuate the vicious cycle of targeting young black men, voting rights violations deny racial minorities the right to vote, targeted individuals remain the focus of hate-fueled crimes, and the president uses hateful language himself to demonize virtually every underrepresented class of citizens, the attorney general sits quietly.