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Why Sitting Senator Cory Booker Chose to Testify Against Jeff Sessions

posted by Breanna Khorrami 0 comments
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Photo: Reuters

In a statement released on Monday night, sitting Senator Cory Booker announced that he would be testifying against Republican Senator Jeff Sessions at his nomination hearing.

The New Jersey Democratic senator announced that he would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, advocating against the controversial nomination of his colleague. This is an unprecedented move, as it would mark the first time that a sitting senator has testified against another senator’s nomination to a Cabinet post.

In this statement, Booker explained the reasoning behind his testimony.

“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 continued,
“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. 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.”
It is anticipated that Sessions’ confirmation hearings, which began on Tuesday, will raise additional questions on old allegations of racism from his past. As a 39-year-old US attorney in Alabama, Sessions was denied a federal judgeship after the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony in March and May of 1986 that he had made racist remarks. He reportedly called the NAACP and ACLU “un-American.”
Rep. Chris Collins took to Sessions defense on Tuesday, saying that “Cory Booker is all about the latest stunt.”
On CNN’s New Day, Collins said,
“If you remember what he did when he was mayor in New Jersey, the first thing he does is he tries to grab international headlines. What he’s doing today every — never before in the Senate, it doesn’t surprise at all…. What Cory Booker is doing is nothing but self-serving grabbing headlines. Jeff Sessions is going to answer those questions.”
Sen. Booker has a track record of working across the aisles to pass Senate legislation. He has also worked in the senate to restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act that had previously been struck down by the Supreme Court.

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