The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as attorney general on Wednesday night after the contentious final hours of debate about his qualifications.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted to make the GOP senator from Alabama the United States' top law enforcement official after a day of partisan wrangling. The chamber voted 52-47, largely along party lines, to confirm Sessions.
Sessions, 70, is an immigration hard-liner who starting serving in the Senate in 1997 and was among the first members of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump as a candidate. He previously was Alabama attorney general and a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.
Democrats have raised concerns about racism accusations that partly cost Sessions a federal judgeship in the 1980s, as well as fears that he could try to restrict voting rights or fail to check Trump's policies if they test the bounds of the law. Republicans have defended Sessions' long history as a public official, arguing that he defended voting rights and saying racism accusations are unfounded.