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Historical First: Booker To Testify Against Sessions


Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey will make history when he testifies against Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama's attorney general nomination on Jan. 10, becoming the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator's hearing for a cabinet position.

"I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague," Booker said, reports CNN. "But the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience."

"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,” Booker told NBC News. "He has a posture and a positioning that I think represent a real danger to our country.”

This isn't the first time Sessions has faced controversy after getting nominated to a federal position.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed Sessions to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. But several of Sessions' former colleagues testified against Sessions for making racist comments. Reagan rescinded the nomination.

Sessions has also been accused of being anti-immigration.

“He has been more anti-immigration than just about any other single member of Congress,” Minority Senate Leader Chuck Schumer of New York told Time.

According to The Atlantic, Sessions was one of the first to back President-elect Donald Trump's Muslim ban proposal during the Republican primary.

In 2015, Sessions suggested the U.S. revive the Johnson-Reed Act, which restricted immigration of many people, including Asians and European Jews, The Atlantic reported.

When asked for comment, Sessions' spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores replied with a statement.

“As Attorney General, Sessions will prioritize curtailing the threats that rising crime and addiction rates pose to the health and safety of our country and that includes enforcing our existing immigration laws,” she wrote in an email.

Sources: CNN, NBC News, Time, The Atlantic / Photo credit: Cory Booker

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