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Booker Statement on Floor Vote Opposing Rosen’s Nomination for Deputy Attorney General

May 16, 2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today voted against confirming Jeffrey Rosen to serve as Deputy Attorney General. Booker released the following statement: "Throughout his nomination process and time as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Transportation, Jeffrey Rosen has demonstrated he is woefully unfit to serve as the second-highest ranking official at the Department of Justice. From his lack of relevant experience to his inability to answer basic questions on the record, it is readily apparent that Mr. Rosen is not the right person for the job. "At his current post at the Department of Transportation, Mr. Rosen has singled-handedly blocked efforts to advance the Gateway Program, one of the most urgent infrastructure projects in the United States. While he maintains that his role overseeing the operation of the Transportation Department is part of what qualifies him for the position of Deputy Attorney General, he would not answer a single question about his work and track record obstructing and delaying this critical project. "On top of this, Mr. Rosen lacks the necessary experience to serve as the second-in-command at the Department of Justice -- he has no experience in law enforcement or criminal law, nor has he ever worked at the Department of Justice. And lastly, Mr. Rosen lacks even a basic understanding of our criminal justice system and the implicit racial bias that exists within that system. In a written question, I asked Mr. Rosen about implicit racial bias and he replied that he had 'not studied the issue.' It is profoundly troubling and beyond belief that the individual who is nominated to be the second-highest ranking law enforcement official in the United States has not studied the issue of implicit racial bias. "We need leaders at the Department of Justice who are familiar with these issues, who understand the problem of implicit bias in the criminal justice system, and who are dedicated to addressing it. Mr. Rosen is clearly not that leader." Booker met with Rosen on April 9 to press him on his opposition to the Gateway Program, his lack of qualifications for the number two role at the Department of Justice, and his understanding of implicit racial bias in the justice system. Booker followed that meeting with 30 questions in writing. Rosen's responses to those questions can be viewed here. Rosen declined to provide reasons for his opposition to the Gateway Program and said that he had "not studied the issue" of implicit racial bias. He also admitted he had not studied key statistical reports showing that increased incarceration rates did not correlate with reduced crime rates, but that he "looked forward to reviewing statistical information regarding crime and crime rates."