SESSIONS AND FILIBUSTERS…. Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) record as a crypto-segregationist is interesting enough, but under the circumstances, with Sessions becoming the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, his record on the handling of Supreme Court nominees is of particular interest.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), now the Republican with the most power to delay President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, decried filibusters during the battle to confirm Justice Samuel Alito.

Sessions will take over for defector Arlen Specter as top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position that enables him to drag out debate on potential Supreme Court justices.

No one knows if Sessions plans to do so — but when Democrats opposed the nomination of Justice Alito, the Republican declared that judges should face only a “majority vote” and that filibusters of court nominees were “very painful.”

As recently as 2005, Sessions argued that Democratic filibusters of Bush’s most conservative judicial nominees — “some of the best nominees ever submitted” for consideration in the 200-year history of the Senate, he said — were inconsistent with a process that has been in place “since the founding of the republic.”

It will be challenging for Sessions, if ever pressed by reporters, to explain a record of seemingly blatant, transparent, and ugly racism. It will nearly as difficult for him to explain, if asked, why Democratic judicial filibusters tear at the fabric of our democracy, while Republican filibusters are no cause for concern.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.