Cory Booker: Jeff Sessions Lacks the 'Courageous Empathy' Necessary to Be Attorney General
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker gave emotional testimony opposing Jeff Sessions' attorney general nomination on Wednesday afternoon. While he made it clear that he likes Jeff Sessions personally, and deeply cares about law and order, he does not believe that Sessions is the man who will "bend the arc of history" toward justice, which America badly needs. "The next attorney general must bring hope and healing to this country, and this demands a more courageous empathy than Senator Sessions' record demonstrates," The New Jersey Democrat told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
One of Booker's beefs with Sessions is the latter's opposition to a bipartisan effort to correct some of the worst injustices of mass incarceration. "If one is to be attorney general, they must be willing to continue the hallowed tradition in our country of fighting for justice for all, for equal justice for civil rights," Booker said. "The arc of the universe does not bend toward justice, we must bend it ... Jeff Sessions does not have the desire, intention or will" of being that agent of justice, he said.
Congressman and civil rights pioneer John Lewis also passionately testified against Sessions' confirmation. But Booker's was more unusual, in that no sitting senator has testified against another sitting senator in a Cabinet appointment hearing. "These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary measures," Booker said on Monday.
Booker's, Lewis' and the Congressional Black Caucus' opposition notwithstanding, Sessions is expected to be approved.