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Democrats working to delay vote for attorney general

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Democrats might not be able to ultimately stop Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions from becoming the next attorney general, but they are doing what they can to slow down the process.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinsten of California, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to request a delay on President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general that would move the vote to Jan. 31, according to the Associated Press.

The vote was initially scheduled to take place Tuesday, but committee rules permit any panel member to hold the vote until the following week — a practice that is not all that uncommon.

Feinstein, who has taken a bold stance against Sessions, requested the extra week "to give the committee more time to conduct its due diligence."

At the start of his hearing earlier this month, Feinstein read a letter signed by more than 1,000 legal scholars at law schools across the U.S. who questioned whether or not Sessions had changed since he was rejected by the Senate committee for a federal judgeship in 1986 over accusations of racism.

Nevertheless, during Sessions' hearing, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he looked forward to "moving to [Sessions'] appointment without delay," but added later in a statement that delays are frequent.

"It's a long-standing practice that has become standard operating procedure that allows members to further study a bill or a nominee's record, or simply delay proceeding," he said.

Several Democrats on the panel have already pledged to vote against confirming Sessions, who is also a member of the committee. A number of black Democratic lawmakers, including Georgia Rep. John Lewis and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, testified that Sessions is unfit to serve in the top legal post.

Sessions, who was first elected to Congress in 1996 after serving as Alabama's attorney general and as a U.S. attorney, has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration, terrorism and gun violence, should he be confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump's campaign for president.

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