New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker will make history when he testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee against current Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General Tuesday morning, Jan. 10.
On the Jan. 9 edition of MSNBC‘s “All in With Chris Hayes,” Booker broke the news that he will break with tradition and challenge President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial Cabinet pick.
“I’m breaking a pretty long Senate tradition,” Booker says. “I think these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures.”
The controversy around Sessions stems from a long history of racially disparaging remarks, including one instance where the Alabama senator called a Black colleague and federal prosecutor Thomas H. Figures “boy.”
In 1986, Sessions was President Ronald Reagan’s pick for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. However, Sessions’ nomination was stopped dead by the Senate Judiciary Committee after four of his former Justice Department colleagues testified that he said racially insensitive comments in the past.
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On other occasions, Sessions has also gone on record stating that the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other prominent Black civil rights groups were “un-American” and “Communist inspired,” Atlanta Black Star reported. Additionally, Sessions has said that the only issue he had with the Ku Klux Klan was that they smoked marijuana.
“We’ve seen Jeff Sessions — that’s Sen. Jeff Sessions — consistently voting against or speaking out against key ideals of the Voting Rights Act, taking measures to try to block criminal justice reform.”
Booker will be joined by two members of the House: civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-Louisiana, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.