Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris will join the Senate Judiciary Committee, which hasn't had a black senator as a member since the 1990s.
“The Trump administration has repeatedly demonstrated its hostility to the ideals of civil rights and equal justice for all,” Booker, of New Jersey, said Tuesday in a statement. “As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will make it my mission to check and balance President Trump and Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions.”
Excited to join the Judiciary Committee. It'll be my mission to check awful actions by Trump & Sessions; keep working to advance the cause of reforming our broken justice system; and to bend the arc of history closer toward equal justice for all. https://t.co/dvq4vdTkQa— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 9, 2018
Booker made waves when he testified against the appointment of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to become attorney general last year — the first time a sitting senator ever testified against another sitting senator chosen for a Cabinet post.
Booker will be the first black male to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Harris of California becomes the first black female on the committee since Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, D-Ill., in the 1990s.
“Thrilled to share that I've been appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee. You have my commitment that I will fight for justice on behalf of Californians and all Americans,” Harris said on Twitter. Her appointment to the committee was expected after Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his resignation late last year.
Thrilled to share that I've been appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee. You have my commitment that I will fight for justice on behalf of Californians and all Americans.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 9, 2018
The appointment of Booker and Harris gives Republicans just a one-seat advantage on the Judiciary Committee, 11-10.
The committee oversees confirmation of federal judges — including the Supreme Court — and nominations to the Department of Justice, in addition to other broad justice matters including civil rights and immigration law.
"We are delighted that Sens. Booker and Harris will be joining the Senate Judiciary Committee as it takes up its critical work in the new year,” said Alliance for Justice president Nan Aron in a statement.” We look forward to their valuable input as the committee makes decisions about the men and women who will be given lifetime appointments to the federal bench and performs its critical oversight role with regard to the justice system that meant to protect all our rights."