Booker to testify against fellow senator Sessions in unprecedented move

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Democratic Sen. Cory Booker is set to testify against Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions Wednesday in an unprecedented move during his attorney general confirmation.

This would be the first time in Senate history that a sitting senator will testify against another sitting senator for a Cabinet post during a confirmation.

“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’ confirmation hearings, which begin Tuesday, are expected to raise additional questions on old allegations of racism from his past. When Sessions was a 39-year-old US attorney in Alabama, he was denied a federal judgeship because the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony during hearings in March and May 1986 that Sessions had made racist remarks and called the NAACP and ACLU “un-American.”

Booker called Sessions’ record “concerning in a number of ways,” citing his opposition to bipartisan criminal justice reform and immigration reform, criticism of the Voting Rights Act and his “failure to defend the civil rights of women, minorities, and LGBT Americans.”

Booker has been known to work across the aisles to pass Senate legislation and worked in the Senate to restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act that were struck down by the Supreme Court.

Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, is also expected to testify against Sessions during his confirmation hearings. Lewis and Sessions were pictured holding hands during a march in Selma, Alabama, in 2015.