In Unprecedented Move, Sen. Cory Booker to Testify Against Jeff Sessions
Booker will testify during Sessions' second day of his confirmation hearing.
By BENJAMIN SIEGEL and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
January 11, 2017, 7:19 PM
• 4 min read
-- Senator Cory Booker is so opposed to Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general that the New Jersey Democrat is willing to break precedent.
Tomorrow, Booker plans to give testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee as to why he believes Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions should not be the next attorney general. He will be the first sitting senator to testify against a colleague at a Senate confirmation hearing for a member of the president's cabinet, according to his office.
"I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague," Booker said in a statement. "But the immense powers of the Attorney General combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience."
Booker will be joined by civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., among others, in testifying on the second day of Sessions’ Senate confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill tomorrow.
In his statement today, Sen. Booker said he lacks "confidence" Sessions can fulfill the attorney general’s responsibility to uphold "fair administration of justice" and pointed to the Alabama senator’s record as cause for concern.
"Senator Sessions’ decades-long record is concerning in a number of ways, from his opposition to bipartisan criminal justice reform to his views on bipartisan drug policy reform, from his efforts earlier in his career to deny citizens voting rights to his criticism of the Voting Rights Act, from his failure to defend the civil rights of women, minorities and LGBT Americans to his opposition to common sense, bipartisan immigration reform," Booker said.
Booker and Sessions have worked together in the past, jointly supporting legislation to award marchers at Selma the Congressional Gold Medal. He also met with Sessions privately ahead of the confirmation hearing, a meeting Booker's office described as cordial.
"I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Sen. Sessions in being the Senate sponsors of this important award," Booker said Feb. 24, 2016 at the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for the "foot soldiers" of the 1965 Voting Rights marches.
"Cory Booker is one of more able members of the Senate and one of the best people in the Senate," Sen. Sessions said then about his Democratic colleague now challenging his nomination to be attorney general.