Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) will testify against his colleague, Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSanders: 'What do the Russians have on Mr. Trump?' Poll: Trump controversies make him more popular among supporters More than ever, Justice must demand a special prosecutor for Trump-Russia probe MORE, during Wednesday's confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSocial media users troll GOP, Trump over ObamaCare repeal The Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care Trump angry Kushner, Ivanka went skiing during health debate: report MORE's attorney general pick.
Booker said Monday night he does not "take the decision lightly" to speak against a fellow senator, but he believes the Alabama Republican's positions on a myriad of issues are "deeply troubling."
"Senator Sessions’ decades-long record is concerning in a number of ways," said Booker. "The Attorney General is responsible for ensuring the fair administration of justice, and based on his record, I lack confidence that Senator Sessions can honor this duty."
The New Jersey Democrat, who is black, explained the unprecedented step by pointing to Sessions's opposition to a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that Booker has been involved with since joining the Senate, as well as his views on reforming drug policy, his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform and his "failure to defend" minority groups, women and LGBT Americans.
Booker will speak before the committee on Wednesday along with Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to a release from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Booker's office also announced his — who is the subject of early speculation as a potential 2020 president candidate — plan on Twitter.
It's unlikely that Democrats will be able to block the Sessions nomination. Under the 2013 "nuclear option," most nominees only need a simple majority vote to clear the upper chamber.
Republicans have a 52-seat majority. Moderate GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsGOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Five takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote MORE (Maine) is one of two senators introducing Sessions at his confirmation hearing.
Though Sessions is well-liked by his colleagues, Democrats have pledged for months to fight his nomination. They've raised questions about whether Sessions would be able to apply the law equally to all Americans and if he'll be able to say no to Trump.
Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick Sanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination MORE (D-Ohio), noting Booker's involvement in the nomination, became the first senator to officially say he would vote against Sessions.
"You don't vote for somebody just because he's a Senate colleague and you have something called Senatorial courtesy," he told MSNBC. "You vote based on, not even entirely his past, you vote on his future and what an attorney general for the next four years is going to do."
Sessions's confirmation hearing comes roughly 30 years after his nomination for a federal judgeship was torpedoed by allegations of racism, which Sessions has repeatedly denied.