Photo via: Kamala Harris
African American strides in U.S. politics continue to inspire new hope this week.
Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have both been appointed to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee is the panel of Senators who handle judicial nominations and appointments to the U.S. Department of Justice. This marks the first time two African Americans have sat on the committee at the same time in its 201-year- history.
As a matter of fact, no African American senator has sat on this committee since the 1990’s when Carole Moseley-Braun served. Moseley-Braun was the first Black woman elected to the Senate as a Democrat from Illinois in 1993. Booker is now the first Black man to sit on this committee.
In remarks made earlier this week by the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), “the Congressional Black Caucus could not be more proud of both of our Senate members and know the experience and expertise they bring to the Committee will be beneficial for all Americans.”
Booker learns of his new appointment just about one year after he testified against the appointment of then fellow Senator, Jeff Sessions (R-AL), as U.S. Attorney General. His testimony in opposition to the appointment of another Senator was a rare stance to take. Shortly after this hearing, it was determined that both Booker and Harris would potentially be next in line for committee seat consideration. Once Doug Jones (D-AL) won his Senate appointment last month, the Judiciary Committee needed to reallocate representation across the committee as Republican Senators no longer made up the majority of the Senate. In an unprecedented decision, Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, ultimately opted to elevate both Harris and Booker.
Both Senators took to Twitter to share their initial reactions to learning of their new historic appointments.
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
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
Congratulations, Senator Harris and Booker! Thank you both for using your platforms to help fight for a better future for us all.