GIST: "The dismay that the neophytes in the Trump Administration elicit tends to follow three stages: alarm at what they say, shock at what they do, and outrage at what they propose to do next. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is no political neophyte—he represented Alabama in the Senate for twenty years—but the pattern still applies. His confirmation hearing included a reminder of an indulgent jest he once made about the Ku Klux Klan. On the Senate floor, Elizabeth Warren was silenced when she tried to read from a letter in which Coretta Scott King stated her concerns about his character. And anger has met his defense of President Trump’s travel bans and immigration crackdowns, and, more recently, his attempts to undermine criminal-justice reform. As much as anyone in the Trump Administration, Sessions seems eager to eradicate any trace of Barack Obama’s tenure. Last week, he took aim at two Obama Administration initiatives on law enforcement. One established an independent scientific commission to look into faulty forensic practices that can produce unreliable evidence in criminal trials. Sessions said that an internal committee would now handle such matters. The other sought to reduce prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. Instead, according to the Washington Post, Sessions will work on new policies with a veteran federal prosecutor named Steven H. Cook, who is a longtime enthusiast of the kind of severe drug-war penalties that provoked the mass-incarceration crisis in the first place. Both measures appear to be part of a larger project: to encourage the harshest approaches to law enforcement."

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