Sen. Cory Booker made headlines Tuesday morning, announcing that he will be the first sitting US Senator to testify against one of his colleagues, Sen. Jeff Sessions, in a confirmation hearing.
Booker will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he cannot support Sessions for Attorney General in Donald Trump’s forthcoming administration because, Booker says, he “lacks confidence that Senator Sessions can honor this duty to fairly administer justice.”
Booker says his opposition is based on Sessions’s failure to support bipartisan reforms that would improve Americans’ civil rights. But in February of last year, Booker spoke highly of his colleague’s record on working together with Democrats on the issue—at a ceremony honoring the Foot Soldiers of the 1965 Voter Rights Act, who marched on Washington alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
He was not just complimentary, but said that he was “honored” and “blessed” to partner with Sessions in bestowing this particular award. He and Sessions co-wrote the bill that recognized the seminal Civil Rights movement leaders.
While Sessions’s record on civil rights is murky, it seems strange that Booker would partner with someone he considered personally distasteful, to honor leaders in a fight he now claims Sessions not only does not value, but diametrically opposes.
Of course, Booker is one of many Democrats who are using Sessions’s confirmation hearings as a way to drive home the message that Trump’s election normalizes racism. As the hearings began Tuesday morning, Code Pink protesters dressed in white KKK robes attempted to sideline proceedings. They were quickly removed.