John Lewis testified against Jeff Sessions because he knows exactly what's at stake.

John Lewis testified against Jeff Sessions because he knows exactly what's at stake.
<br>On March 7, 1965, John Lewis was smashed in the head by an Alabama state trooper while protesting for the right to vote. Photo by Federal Bureau of Investigation/Wikimedia Commons. The impact fractured his skull. Two weeks later, Lewis marched with Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which helped convince Congress to pass the original Voting Rights Act into law. Today, Lewis is a U.S. Congressman, and with colleagues from the Congressional Black Caucus sitting behind him, he recalled those events in his testimony against fellow Alabamian Jeff Sessions' nomination for attorney general.Sessions' repeated pledges to enforce "law and order" in his new role struck a discordant note with Lewis, whose politics were molded by a society where that phrase meant different things to different groups of people. Representative John Lewis. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images. "Those who are committed to equal justice on our society wonder whether Senator Sessions’ call for 'law and order' will mean today what it meant in Alabama when I was coming up back then," Lewis said. Sen. Cory Booker's testimony may have grabbed most of the pre-hearing headlines — but it was Lewis' testimony that spoke most powerfully to what's at stake with Sessions' nomination.With his address, Booker became the first sitting senator to testify against a colleague in a hearing, and he spoke eloquently about the need to continue important work on criminal justice reform and to defend the rights of marginalized people.Lewis placed Booker's calls in historical context, citing the unfinished work of the civil rights movement as the primary reason to demand an attorney general defend its hard-won gains. Sessions has criticized Black Lives Matter for making "radical" statements and essentially contributing to demoralization among law enforcement. “We can pretend that the law is blind. We can pretend that it’s evenhanded. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we are