In a major defeat for America at large, Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will be the new Attorney General of the United States. The Senate vote was split 52-47, almost exactly down party lines. Every Republican senator cast a vote for Sessions, while nearly every Democratic senator voted against… save for one.
Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV) bucked the party line and voted to confirm Sessions, a man notabl;e for his outright racist policies and dangerous anti-equality political history.
Manchin, a longtime holdover from the Democratic Party’s old days as “the working man’s party,” has a long history of going against his party’s platform in keeping with his constituency’s more conservative beliefs. He has voted with Republicans on such things as more lenient gun control laws and increasing abortion restrictions. Manchin’s intentions regarding Sessions have never been a secret. Soon after Donald Trump announced his plans for attorney general, Manchin stated he would vote for Sessions.
Though Manchin has stated he is following the will of the people of West Virginia, there may be other motives involved. Manchin’s daughter is CEO of Mylan, a large pharmaceutical company, which is currently being investigated by the Justice Department for price gouging of their products, most noticeably the EpiPen. Sessions, who has pro-business leanings, is more likely to either halt the investigation or make a generous settlement deal with Mylan.