Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) will make Senate history this week as he is set to testify against the confirmation of Donald Trump‘s pick for Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
Booker’s testimony would appear to be the first time in Senate history that a sitting Senator would testify against his current colleague for a nominated presidential cabinet position. NBC News reports that Booker’s office said Monday that the Senate historian had been unable to find any previous instances.
“I’m breaking a pretty long Senate tradition,” the New Jersey Democrat said Monday on MSNBC’s “All In”: “We’ve seen Jeff Sessions — that’s Senator 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.”
“He has a posture and a positioning that I think represent a real danger to our country,” Booker said.
Booker in a statement explained that he is testifying against Sessions because of his opposition to “bipartisan criminal justice reform” and his “efforts earlier in his career to deny citizens voting rights.”
“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
CNN explains that in 1986, Sen. Sessions was nominated by former President Ronald Reagan for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The nomination was ultimately defeated when 4 former Justice Department colleagues testified that he had made racially offensive statements and that he called the NAACP and ACLU “un-American.”
Beyond these remarks, others fear his past decisions and steadfast opposition to the expansion of rights for gay and lesbian Americans, legalization of marijuana even for medical use, legal abortion, embryonic stem cell research and the Affordable Care Act, according to NBC News.
Regardless of the reasons, Sen. Booker’s historic and unprecedented decision to testify against another sitting Senator could be a make or break moment for his career. Should it come off poorly, it may simply look like a grab for attention.