Today’s confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions’s Attorney General appointment was unusual in that three sitting Congressmen—Rep. John Lewis, Sen. Cory Booker, and Rep. Cedric Richmond on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus—spoke against his nomination.
Drawing on Sessions’s dodgy past with accusations of racism in particular, all three Congressmen drew out the history of the Civil Rights movement in comparison to his history, which has been characterized by supporting institutions which have disproportionately harmed African Americans.
Lewis was particularly moving, as he recalled what it was like growing up in Alabama during the Jim Crow Era, and how the fight for Civil Rights continues today. “It doesn’t matter how Senator Sessions may smile, how friendly he may be... we need someone who’s going to speak up... for the people who need help,” he said. Later, Richmond honored Rep. Lewis’s history with the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘60s, and said, “it’s a shame that he must sit here and re-litigate this 50 years later.”
Additionally, here’s Cory Booker’s testimony against Sessions, also impassioned but also, possibly, with an eye on 2020.