Black Dem: Going last at Sessions hearing like ‘being made to go to the back of the bus’

Black Dem: Going last at Sessions hearing like ‘being made to go to the back of the bus’
© Greg Nash

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) slammed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, saying the decision to have three black members of Congress testify at the end of Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBiden fact checks Trump on 545 families separated at border, calls policy 'criminal' Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE's (R-Ala.) confirmation hearing for attorney general is the equivalent of being sent to the "back of the bus."

"First I want to address my concerns about being made to testify at the end of the witness panels," he said. "To have a senator, a House member, and living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus."
Richmond called the scheduling a "petty strategy" of Senate Republicans.  

His testimony followed passionate remarks from civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who testified against Sessions

After the hearing, Lewis said he agreed with Richmond’s remarks.

“I’ve been here almost 30 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” he said. “But it’s OK, we made our statements.”

Lewis said he hopes the testimony presented Wednesday afternoon will have some impact.

“You never know,” he said. 

Booker, however, told reporters he didn't agree with Richmond’s remark. 

Instead, he thanked Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes GOP to Trump: Focus on policy MORE (R-Iowa).

“The sad thing is now that Sessions is going to be, should he be confirmed, be the attorney general of the United States he will work against Chuck Grassley,” Booker said.  

“He will work against the reduction of mandatory minimums, he will work against fair policing in this country, he will work against supporting police officers.”