'This Week' Transcript: Leahy and Sessions

SESSIONS: I think we'd like to know in a real honest sense whether her philosophy of law is so broad in her interpretation of the Constitution that you are not faithful to the Constitution and law. In other words, a judge under their oath says you serve under the Constitution, not above it. But we want to know whether she's faithfully will follow it even if she doesn't like it. And she did criticize a lack of specificity in some nominees. I thought John Roberts struck about the right tone, perhaps even more open -- was more open than Sotomayor, for example. So she's criticized the nominees and the process for not being more specific. I think we'll be looking at her testimony, because she has so little other record. This is going to be a big deal. It's so important how she testifies.

TAPPER: You have expressed concern about a step she took when she was dean at Harvard Law School, and she continued the policy of Harvard Law School of keeping military recruiters from using the Office of Career Services, although she did change that policy later in her tenure there.

The White House has said she had great relationships with veterans and with the military while dean. What's specifically your concern about this issue?

SESSIONS: I have great concerns about that. That went on for a number of years. It was a national issue. People still remember the debate about it. She -- she reversed the policy. When she became dean, they were allowing the military to come back on campus and had been for a couple of years.

TAPPER: But they were always on campus, right? They just weren't using the Office of Career Services.

SESSIONS: Well, look, yeah, this is no little bitty matter, Jake. She would not let them come to the area that does the recruiting on the campus. They had to meet with some student veterans. And this is not acceptable. It was a big error. It was a national debate. Finally, we passed the Solomon amendment. They really didn't comply with it. Eventually, she joined a brief to try to overturn the Solomon amendment, which was eventually rejected 8-0 by the United States Supreme Court, and she was not in compliance with the law at various points in her tenure, and it was because of a deep personal belief she had that this policy, which was Congress and President Clinton's policy--

TAPPER: Don't ask, don't tell, right.

SESSIONS: -- not the military soldiers' policy--


LEAHY: Could I have a word?

TAPPER: Yes, Senator Leahy, you're shaking your head. Do you disagree with Senator Sessions?


TAPPER: This is no itty bitty matter, he says.

LEAHY: Well, this is like in Shakespeare, sound and fury signifying nothing. She -- the recruiters were always on the Harvard campus. She's shown her respect for the veterans there. She every year on Veterans Day, she had a dinner for all the veterans and their families who were there at Harvard. Recruiting went on at Harvard every single day throughout the time she was-- she was there. She was trying to follow Harvard's policy. She was also trying to make sure that students who wanted to go in the military could.

Scott Brown, who is a Republican U.S. senator and a member of the Active Reserves -- he's still in the military -- he met with her and left and said he thought she had high respect for our men and women in uniform, and he had no qualms about that.

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