The Slatest

In a First, Sitting Sen. Cory Booker Will Testify Against Colleague Jeff Sessions’ Nomination

Sen. Cory Booker speaks during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Sept. 27, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker will testify against fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions during his nomination hearing for attorney general before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Booker’s testimony would mark the first time a sitting senator testified against a fellow senator’s nomination to a Cabinet post. “The Attorney General is responsible for ensuring the fair administration of justice, and based on his record, I lack confidence that Senator Sessions can honor this duty,” Booker said in a statement Monday night.

Booker will be joined by two other black members of Congress, including civil rights icon Georgia Rep. John Lewis and Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, to raise questions about Sessions’ suitability for the top law enforcement position in the country after he was deemed unsuitable for a federal judgeship by the same Senate body during a confirmation hearing in 1986 following allegations of racism.

“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague. But the immense powers of the Attorney General combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience,” Booker said. “Sen. 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.”