Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, launched his testimony against Jeff Sessions' nomination by likening the timing of his panel to racist and dehumanizing segregation laws from the 1960s South.

Richmond then immediately tweeted out his bon mot.

This seems a bit over the top when you consider the facts.

The Judiciary Committee hearings on Sessions' nomination for attorney general had three panels. The first panel was the nominee himself. That is obviously standard practice and seems fitting.

So Richmond's flamboyant claim boils down to this: He, John Lewis and Cory Booker were put on Panel III instead of Panel II.

This already appears petty. One of those two panels has to go first. And Panel II, in the morning, was up against the testimony of Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state nominee, and President-elect Trump's news conference. Would Richmond rather have been slated at a time no television stations would carry him?

But Richmond's claim to be the new Rosa Parks is made even more absurd when you look at Panel II. That panel was majority-minority and included an African-American civil rights commissioner and the president of the NAACP.

Richmond would have preferred they be sent to the back of the bus?

More likely, the back-of-the-bus analogy was an overheated, inappropriate one.

Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on