New Jersey’s U.S. Senator Cory Booker testified early Wednesday against the appointment of his fellow Senator Jeff Sessions to the office of U.S. Attorney General, an appointment that the U.S. Senate is tasked to confirm.
Booker had nothing but harsh words for Sessions, zeroing in on his highly questionable background when it comes to defending civil rights.
Sessions’ record is blotted by such serious allegations that he, at one point early in his career, lost his bid for a federal judgeship on account of claims including that he called the NAACP “un-American” and unfairly pursued cases against civil rights activists.
And on that note, Sen. Booker commented before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
‘I want an attorney general who is committed to supporting law enforcement and securing law and order but that is not enough. America was founded heralding, not law and order, but justice for all, and critical to that is equal justice under the law… If there is no justice, there is no peace. ‘
Booker went on to assert that the 1957 Civil Rights Act made clear that the Attorney General is not only to function as the chief law enforcement officer but also as the chief enforcer of civil rights in the U.S.
Thus Booker continued:
‘Senator Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job: To aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all citizens. In fact, at numerous times during his career, he has demonstrated a hostility towards these convictions and has worked to frustrate attempts to advance these ideals.’
The New Jersey Senator added that he feels, looking at Sessions’s record, that women’s rights, LGBT rights, voting rights, and immigrant rights would all be in danger under Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General.
Booker discussed at length on Wednesday the experience that he was speaking out of — including something immediately relevant to Sessions’s confirmation hearings.
In 2015, Booker co-sponsored with none other than Sessions himself a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the “foot soldiers” who marched in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. That march, otherwise known as the final Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, was a “catalyst” for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
There is an easily discernible reason for Sessions being involved with the measure, one that has nothing to do with him being necessarily all that concerned with civil rights — Sessions is one of Alabama’s U.S. Senators.
Watch Booker’s Wednesday morning testimony against Sessions below.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 11, 2017
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.