Speed Reads

use your words wisely

Jeff Sessions praises sheriffs as a 'critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions may want to stick to the script next time.

At the tail end of an effusive speech Monday at the National Sheriff's Association, Sessions inserted a notable ad-lib while discussing the importance of law enforcement. Sheriffs are a "critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement," Sessions said — phrasing that was not included in a transcript of the prepared remarks. He added: "We must never erode this historic office."

Sessions' written remarks did not include the phrase "Anglo-American heritage" and instead read: "The sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage." The phrase "Anglo-American" typically refers to Americans of English ethnic heritage, or whose native language is English, who are often white.

The Hill explains that the etymology of the word "sheriff" can be traced to Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, which is perhaps what the attorney general was referring to. But this isn't the first time Sessions has invoked "Anglo-American" values: Vice News' Tess Owen pointed out that only two weeks ago, Sessions referred to late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as "one of the best judges in American history, and maybe even the Anglo-American tradition."