Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference Monday in Washington.
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
The Ministry of justice pushed back to Monday after critics, including some in the media claimed attorney General Jeff Sessions used racist language when he addressed a group of sheriffs.
Meetings of the National Sheriff’s Association said,” The office of sheriff is an important part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.”
The “Anglo-American heritage” part of the meetings’ comment caught the eye of writers in a number of media. Newsweek headlined the story with “Jeff Sessions faces fresh racism charge to praise” Anglo-American Heritage ” of law enforcement.”
It was even more outrage in the social media. Time magazine, national correspondent Charlotte age tweeted that the sessions’ statement is the proof that “our justice is rooted in white supremacy.”
In case you have forgotten, that our justice system is rooted in white supremacy:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Sheriff’s Association meeting, just now: “The office of Sheriff is an important part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement” https://t.co/X6yz8DNcSL
— Charlotte Alter (@Charlotte Age) February 12, 2018
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted that the remarks fired were “dog-whistle” and “appalling,” while actress Alyssa Milano said that the meetings should be “immediately.”
Do you know someone who says: “Anglo-American heritage” in a sentence? What is the meaning of the statement could be made that other than pit Americans against each other? For the chief law enforcement officer to use a dog whistle how to, is frightening. It is best NOT to vote I have ever cast.
— Brian Schatz (@Brian treasure) February 12, 2018
This is the attorney general of the United States of America. Jeff Sessions, should be immediately fired. https://t.co/jhFhxk3rrq
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 12, 2018
DOJ officials were quick to point out that the meetings referred to the precedent-based English common law system forms the basis for the American legal system.
“As most law students learn in the first week of the first year of study, Anglo-American law – also known as common law – a common legal heritage between England and America,” spokesman Ian, said in a statement. “The sheriff is unique to the common legal heritage. In front of reporters sloppy nefarious meaning mean behind the term, we would suggest that you read a number of Supreme Court opinions that use the term. Or you could just use the “Anglo-American law’ in Google.”
In 2009, President Barack Obama the “Anglo-American quotes legal system,” during the discussion, reported to his government the approach to the law-enforcement authorities, CBS News. In the year 2016, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer uses the term “Anglo-American” during a speech in China, with no apparent controversy.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.