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Sessions to do that 'crack cocaine' thing?

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July 16, 2009 10:08 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — It's pretty certain that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., didn't mean what he said.

The top Republican at Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court hearing was talking about trying to schedule a Judiciary Committee hearing on the disparity between the sentencing of powder cocaine abusers and crack cocaine users.

Sessions said he and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., had been talking about it. "Sen. Leahy and I were talking during these hearings, we're going to do that crack cocaine thing you and I have talked about before," Sessions said.

The hearing room cracked up.

Sessions laughed along with the crowd. "I misspoke," he clarified. "We're going to reduce the burden of penalties in some of the crack cocaine cases and make them fair."

(This version CORRECTS by DELETING reference to Sen. Lindsey Graham making remarks. A review of the television feed doesn't confirm that Graham was the person who spoke.)