Booker Makes History in Testimony Against Sessions

A senator has never testified against a fellow senator during a Cabinet hearing
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2017 3:31 PM CST
Booker's Testimony Against Sessions Was First of Its Kind
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at the second day of a confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., before the Senate Judiciary Committee.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Jeff Sessions' two-day confirmation hearing came to a close Wednesday with something that's never happened before: a current senator testifying against another current senator up for a Cabinet position. CNN reports Sen. Cory Booker, despite having worked well with the attorney general nominee in the past, said his "conscience" forced him to take the unprecedented step. "The arc of the moral universe does not just naturally curve toward justice, we must bend it," Booker testified. "America needs an attorney general who is resolute and determined to bend the arc." The senator from New Jersey said Sessions has shown a lack of "commitment"—and has in fact shown "hostility"—toward supporting equal rights for all Americans, according to ABC News.

During his five-minute testimony, Booker said he was worried Sessions wouldn't work to reduce mass incarceration, ensure equal rights for LGBT citizens, or protect the voting rights of immigrants. Mediaite reports he said he was also concerned Sessions wouldn't address racial bias in policing. Booker, who admitted his choice to testify wasn't a popular one among fellow senators, was joined by Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Cedric Richmond. Meanwhile, Mediaite states many are seeing Booker's first-of-its-kind testimony as a bid for attention ahead of a run for president in 2020. Supporters continued to deny all accusations of racism against Sessions, who's likely to be confirmed. (More Cory Booker stories.)

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