Trump finally gets his Attorney-General

US President Donald Trump declared a "new era of justice" on Thursday as he swore in his Attorney-General, and his hardline policies ran up against legal checks and balances. He swore in Mr Jeff Sessions in the Oval Office and signed three executive
PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

US President Donald Trump declared a "new era of justice" on Thursday as he swore in his Attorney-General, and his hardline policies ran up against legal checks and balances.

He swore in Mr Jeff Sessions in the Oval Office and signed three executive orders designed to burnish his law-and-order credentials. With them was the new Attorney-General's wife Mary Blackshear Sessions.

"We face the menace of rising crime and the threat of deadly terror," said Mr Trump, doubling down on a dystopian vision of America. "A new era of justice begins, and it begins right now."

The Senate voted 52-47 to approve Mr Sessions' appointment late on Wednesday, after Democrats stalled for weeks on the nominee, whose civil rights record was under intense scrutiny.

The new administration has zeroed in on a recent uptick in violence, despite studies that show violent crime has been steadily declining for three decades. "We have a crime problem. I wish the rise that we are seeing in crime in America today was some sort of aberration or blip", said Mr Sessions, adding that it is a "dangerous permanent trend".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2017, with the headline 'Trump finally gets his Attorney-General'. Print Edition | Subscribe