Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week in his bid to become the U.S. Attorney General, but were Democrats too soft on President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee during his first day of testimony?

Lawmakers were congenial and refrained from holding Sen. Sessions’ feet to the fire regarding his sketchy record on civil rights, voting rights, and charges of racism. The toughest questioning the Alabama Senator faced on Tuesday came from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) told Roland Martin during Wednesday’s edition of NewsOne Now that Sen. Sessions “had a lot of softballs thrown at him.”

Calling the proceedings “telling,” Lawrence continued, “Whenever he was challenged on his record, he said, ‘That’s going to be your responsibility as members of the Senate and I’ll just follow the rules.'”

Rep. Lawrence highlighted Sen. Sessions’ voting record and said, “He’s consistently voted against women, [and] voting rights.” 

Later during the segment, Lawrence equated the first day of Sessions’ Senate confirmation hearings to the “good ol’ boys network.”

Frustrated with the first day of proceedings, Rep. Lawrence said, “We’re talking about the justice––the thing that holds our country together when it comes to human rights and our Constitutional rights, which sets us apart from every other democracy. And you’re going to put this man in charge of being the gatekeeper.”

Watch Roland Martin, Rep. Brenda Lawrence, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings in the video clip above.

Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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Why Interfaith Clergy Are Mobilizing To Urge Congress To Reject Jeff Sessions’ Nomination