Sen. Cory Booker Delivers Unprecedented Testimony In Opposition of Sessions

"In fact, at numerous times in his career, [Sessions] has demonstrated a hostility towards these convictions," Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. said.
7:23 | 01/11/17

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Transcript for Sen. Cory Booker Delivers Unprecedented Testimony In Opposition of Sessions
I know is exceptional worries senator testify against another senator nominees for cabinet position. And I appreciate the opportunity you've given me today. I worked closely with many view on this panel both sides of the dais. On matters related to criminal justice reform and you'd know just how deeply motivated. I am but in many issues or next attorney general will heavily in clueless especially the crisis of mass incarceration. I know that some of my many colleagues aren't happy that I'm reeking with senate tradition to testify on the nomination of one of my colleagues but I believe. Like perhaps all of my colleagues in the senate. That in the choice between standing with the senate and warmth or standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country. I will always choose conscience and country. Well senator sessions I have consistently disagreed on the issues. He and I have always exercise a collegiality. And a mutual respect between us. Perhaps the best example of this is the legislation we cosponsored. Toward the congressional gold medal to gold's foot soldiers who marched at Selma. One of the foot soldiers is sitting next to be now. This was a blessing and an honor to meet because in 2015. A retired judge who was white. Told me that it. Was Dole's brief marchers on the Edmund pettis bridge who inspire him as a young lawyer in the 1960s. To seek justice for all. In new jurors it. And begin representing black families looking to integrate white neighborhoods like families were turned away and tonight house. One of those families with law. I am literally sitting here because of people marchers and Alabama. And volunteer lawyers in future. Flawed as their affirmative duty to pursue justice. To fight discrimination. To stand up for those more marginalize. But the march for justice in our country still continues it is still hurt. I'm know. Also though the urgency for law and quarter. I imagine that no sitting senator. Has lived in the last twenty years in higher crime neighborhoods and I. I have seemed unimaginable violence. One American streets. I know the tremendous courage law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every single day to fight crime in America. I want an attorney general with committed to supporting law enforcement and securing law and order but that is not enough. America was founded heralding not law in quarter put justice for all. And critical to bat it's equal justice under the law. Law and order with out justice is on obtainable. The are inextricably tied together if there is no justice there is no peace. The Alabama State troopers on the Edmund pettis bridge were seeking law and order. The marchers. Were seeking justice. And ultimately a greater peace. One of the victories of the modern silver writes. Movement with the 19. Civil Rights Act. Which in effect meet the attorney general not only the chief law enforcement officer of United States but also bested. In that office the responsibility. To pursue. Civil rights and equal protection for all of America. Senator sessions has not demonstrated a commitment. 2:8 central work requisite off the job to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights. Equal rights and justice for all or citizens. In fact it numerous times in his career he has demonstrated a hostility. Towards these convictions. And has worked to frustrate attempts to would be asked these ideals. If confirmed senator sessions will be required to pursue justice for women. But his record indicates that he wall. He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender Americans but his record indicate that he won't. He will be expected to fan voting rights. But his record indicates that he wall. He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirmed their human dignity but the record indicates that he walls. His record indicate that as attorney general he would object to the growing national bipartisan movement towards criminal justice reform. His records indicate that we cannot count on him to support. State and national efforts towards bringing justice to the justice system and people on both sides of the IL are readily admit. But the justice system as it stands now is biased. Against the war against drug addicted against mentally ill. And against people of color. His record indicate that a time that even the FBI director. Is speaking out against implicit racial bias in policing. And the urgent need to a dress it. At a time when the last two attorney general have taken steps to fix our broken criminal justice system. At a time when the Justice Department he would lead. You could lead has uncovered systemic. Abuses and police departments all over the United States including Ferguson. Including New York. Senator sessions would not continue to lead this urgently needed change. He next attorney general must bring hope and healing to the country. This demands a more poor regions empathy. And senator session's record demonstrates. The demands of understanding that patriotism. Is love of country and local country demands that we loved all of our citizens. Even the most marginalized. The most disadvantaged. The most agreed it. In the most unfortunate. Challenges of race in America cannot be addressed if we refuse to confront them. Persistent buys his cannot be defended unless we combat them the arc of the moral beautiful were first does not just naturally Kirk. Ports just this week he must bend it. If one is to be attorney general he must be willing to continue hallowed tradition our country a fighting for justice for all. For equal justice for civil rights. America needs haven't heard the general who was resolute. And determined to bend the arc. Senator session's record does not speak to that desire intention or will. All that has taken our nation now. With the urgent need for healing and were lulled. I pray that my colleagues will join me in opposing his nomination. Mr. chairman my time is over I'd like to submit the rest of my testimony to the record. I'd like to again thank you for your opportunity testify. And finally I'd like to acknowledge what was not done its sitting behind me proud members the United States congress and the Congressional Black Caucus thank.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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