Sitting senators don't testify against sitting senators in Confirmation Hearings. Until now.

What was Cory Booker thinking?

In an interview earlier today, a reporter asked Booker point blank, "is this the start of your 2020 presidential campaign?" Booker was circumspect, saying that this decision was not about politics, but about standing up for principles.

Bookers' decision to testify was more about, Sessions' actions and words before the hearings, and their implications for a position meant to represent all of the people and all the laws of the land.

Sen. Sessions seems to have said all the right things in hearings yesterday and today, which most have regarded as on point and reasonable.

But Booker isn't buying it. In his opening statement, he said in part, "I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague," Booker said. "But the immense powers of the Attorney General combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience."

Sessions' past and present

Why are some so up in arms about Pres-elect Trump's pick for Attorney General? Among the concerns are:

  • In 1986, Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions to a US District court judgeship. He was not confirmed, based on allegations he called the NAACP "unamerican" and spoke in favor of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • He has been critical of the Voting Rights Act, calling it "intrusive."


Bookers' concern boils down to whether or not Sessions as AG would be able to perform a "fair administration of justice," in his position.

Crisis of mass incarceration

The disproportionate incarceration of African-American men is the main point of concern Booker raised in terms of potent issues the next Attorney General will be facing.

In his statement, Booker highlighted the need to uphold law and order, but to balance that with the need of "justice for all."

Upholding Equal Protection is a primary role of Attorney General, according to Booker -- and Jeff Sessions' track record on that score -- just does not cut it.

What impact will Booker's testimony have on the confirmation process? While not likely to stop the confirmation, it could shed some light and bring added scrutiny to the way Sen. Sessions conducts himself should he become Attorney General.