Cory Booker

Senator from New Jersey
Jump to  stances on the issues
Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race on January 13, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Booker is running a campaign focused on love, unity and identity. He first gained national recognition as mayor of Newark, New Jersey, at times answering pleas to shovel residents out after major snowstorms. He was elected to the US Senate in a 2013 special election.
Stanford University, B.A., 1991; Stanford University, M.A, 1992; University of Oxford, Rhodes scholar, 1994; Yale Law School, J.D., 1997
April 27, 1969
Baptist
Mayor of Newark, 2006-2013;
Partner at the law firm Booker, Rabinowitz, Trenk, Lubetkin, Tully, DiPasquale and Webster, 2002-2006;
Newark City Council member, 1998-2002;
Staff attorney at the Urban Justice Center, 1997

BOOKER IN THE NEWS

Cory Booker reflects on Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings: 'This is not about racism. It's about decency'
Updated 12:44 PM ET, Sun Mar 27, 2022
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said Sunday that there were moments during Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearings last week that invoked a "familiar hurt" many Americans could relate to. "I got a chance to witness firsthand what I think many people in America can relate to, is when you show up in a room qualified, when you show up in a room with extraordinary expertise and credentials, there are a lot of Americans who know that hurt, that you are still going to be treated in a way that does not respect to you fully," Booker told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." Bash asked Booker, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee where Jackson's hearings took place, if he saw racism in the room from the Republican senators. He stopped short of calling it that, saying instead that the situation for Jackson was more about her being a woman. "No, I think this is not about racism. It's about decency," Booker, who is Black, told CNN. "I think that this is not about any kind of partisan effort." He said Republican senators had some "legitimate questioning" during the hearings, before adding, "But to me, it's just about the kind of way we're going to treat folk." "And I think it's a kind of thing that a lot of folks, women of all races, have had to endure often when they get into a room that they're qualified to be in, but are yet questioned in ways that are disappointing," he said. Jackson, who would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court if confirmed, spent three days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee and faced aggressive questioning from some of the panel's Republican senators that sometimes veered away from her record. They pressed Jackson for her views on issues -- critical race theory, the children's book "Antiracist Baby," the treatment of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing -- that her supporters say have little to do with the duties of a potential high court justice. On day two of the hearings, Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee asked Jackson to provide a definition for the word "woman." Asked Sunday for his reaction to that episode, Booker told CNN that "there were a lot of moments like that that were deflating to me and disappointing to me." "I think what was unfortunate in the room for me was that she was getting attacks that were roundly criticized, even by people on the right, as being beyond the pale," he said. Booker, on day three of the hearings, defended Jackson against the questions raised by his GOP colleagues, telling her she was "worthy" and had "earned this spot," and putting her nomination in historic context, which moved Jackson to tears. The Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Jackson's nomination on April 4. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Friday said he would support Jackson's nomination, all but guaranteeing she will be confirmed to the Supreme Court in a 50-50 split Senate with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. It is not yet clear if Jackson will win any Republican votes. This story has been updated with additional details.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES

climate crisis
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Booker in September 2019 unveiled a $3 trillion plan for combating the climate crisis that promises to invest in clean energy, phase out the use of fossil fuels and create a carbon-neutral economy by 2045. The plan would require fossil fuel producers to pay a carbon fee on coal, natural gas and oil production and would end tax subsidies to those industries. Booker would create a “progressive climate dividend” paid to Americans through the carbon fees on fossil fuel producers. He also would take executive action to reverse many of Trump’s actions undoing Obama-era environmental initiatives. During the first Democratic primary debate, in June 2019, Booker cited climate change as one of the biggest threats facing the US. He supports the Green New Deal and has pushed back against critics of the plan who have called it impractical. “If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the moon,” Booker has said on the campaign trail. He has said he would keep the US in the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Booker’s climate crisis policy
economy
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Booker has been known in the past as business-friendly, accepting $100 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for schools in Newark during his tenure as mayor. As a presidential candidate, Booker has called for more robust enforcement of antitrust laws, citing a “serious problem [in our country] with corporate consolidation.” During the first presidential debate, Booker said he would target companies like Amazon that pay low federal taxes or none at all. The senator has also discussed rolling back the 2017 Trump tax cuts. According to his campaign, Booker has stood by his opposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-nation deal negotiated under Obama that Trump withdrew from in one of his first acts as President. He has opposed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – the successor deal to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated by Trump – as it is written. More on Booker’s economic policy
education
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As Newark mayor, Booker revamped public schools, aided by a $100 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Booker has drawn criticism for strengthening public charter schools as part of his efforts. He has pledged to raise teacher pay and commit more resources to public schools, including fully funding special education programs. Booker has proposed a “baby bonds” system that would create savings accounts for Americans when they are born; after the person turns 18, the money can be used for college tuition or homeownership or retirement. He has co-sponsored a bill that would establish a state-federal partnership aimed at helping higher education institutions provide assistance to students. More on Booker’s education policy
gun violence
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Booker has proposed federally mandated gun licenses, modeled after driver’s licenses. “If you need a license to drive a car,” he has said, “you need a license to own a gun.” His plan would also expand background checks and fund programs for communities beset by gun violence. It would ban so-called assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. He has proposed regulation and oversight of gun manufacturers. He would also close the “boyfriend loophole,” preventing people who abused dating partners from buying or owning firearms. More on Booker’s gun violence policy
healthcare
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Booker has co-sponsored Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” proposal, legislation that would create a government-run health care plan and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. Still, he is in favor of keeping private insurance plans. When asked in February 2019 if he would do away with private health care, he said, “Even countries that have vast access to publicly offered health care still have private health care, so no.” He is a co-sponsor of Medicare-X, which would let individuals and small businesses buy government-backed insurance policies, known as a public option, on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Additionally, he supports lowering the Medicare age to 50. Booker has pledged to work to drive down the price of prescription drugs, including co-sponsoring a measure that would annually review whether brand-name drugs are excessively priced relative to those in other countries. He has also come out in favor of importing drugs from Canada and other developed nations. More on Booker’s health care policy
immigration
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Booker has proposed a range of executive actions to immediately roll back Trump’s immigration policies, including ending immigrant detention and family separations, and decriminalizing crossing the border without documentation. He would expand Obama-era protections for some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and those who are parents of American citizens. He ridiculed Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border wall, and voted against a spending bill – which ultimately passed and was signed into law – that provided $1.357 billion for 55 miles of new barriers. Booker has also endorsed accepting a minimum of 110,000 refugees annually, a significant increase over the historically low levels of resettlement during the Trump administration. More on Booker’s immigration policy

LATEST POLITICAL NEWS

What to know about the FBI's search of Trump's Florida resort and his potential legal exposure
Updated 2:39 PM ET, Tue Aug 9, 2022
The FBI search of former President Donald Trump's residence in Florida on Monday signaled an extraordinary escalation of an investigation into the handling of certain documents from his presidency and raises questions about whether his legal exposure extends beyond whether he improperly took government records when he left the White House. What exactly the FBI was searching for and why is still unknown. But to obtain a search warrant, investigators would have had to show a judge that there was probable cause of a crime and that evidence of that crime was located at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's Palm Beach resort. Here's what to know about the legal significance of the search, which comes as Trump is preparing a potential 2024 presidential run, and what could come next: What would it have taken for the DOJ to have obtained the search warrant? To get judicial approval for the search, investigators would have had to present to a judge a detailed affidavit that would establish that probable cause exists to believe that a crime had been committed and that that evidence of that crime exists in recent days at the property where the search is being sought. The search warrant would have been filed under seal, meaning that its details are not publicly available at the moment (though they could become public in the future). The federal courthouse in West Palm Beach lists only one sealed search warrant application since June that was still not closed as of Friday, according to the court's public register of cases. But before prosecutors got to the point of asking a magistrate judge to approve the warrant, in order to move forward with a search that carried such historical and political significance, investigators would have had to obtain the OK from the highest levels of the Justice Department, legal experts told CNN. Former DOJ officials told CNN that it was likely that, at the very least, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco would have had to have given the green light and that Attorney General Merrick Garland and/or FBI Director Chris Wray may have also been consulted. "Not only would the investigators have to suggest it, not only would a line prosecutor have to agree with it, but multiple layers of management would have had to approved of it -- all the way up to the Attorney General," Daren Firestone, a former DOJ attorney, told CNN. The Justice Department has declined to comment. What does this mean for Trump's legal exposure? To take the extraordinary step of executing a search warrant on a former president's home suggests investigators are looking at more than what the National Archives had previously recovered from Mar-a-Lago, according to legal experts. In January, the National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago, including materials that had been identified as classified, but activity around those boxes have been quiet since the spring. "I really don't believe that the department would have taken such a significant step as pursuing a search warrant for the president's residence about information they already had back," Andrew McCabe, a former FBI deputy director and CNN contributor, said on CNN "Newsroom." "There had to be a suspicion, a concern and indeed specific information that led them to believe that there were additional materials that were not turned over." Before the news of Monday's search, a law known as the Presidential Records Act had been forefront of public speculation about Trump's legal jeopardy as other investigatory steps were taken related to the handling of documents from Trump's White House. That law -- passed after Watergate to make clear that certain records from a presidency belong to the public and not the former office holder -- is not a criminal statute and has been seen as relatively toothless law. A search warrant and the presence of the FBI signifies a criminal investigation. There are other record retention statutes that bring with them criminal penalties -- such as the Espionage Act -- but at this point it's not clear what criminal statutes have been implicated in the Justice Department investigation. It is a crime to destroy or remove federal records, or to mishandle classified documents. There are other federal laws that aim prevent the tampering of information during an investigation. Earlier this year, the Justice Department issued subpoenas for presidential materials including classified documents that the National Archives had previously retrieved. The FBI also interviewed Trump aides at Mar-a-Lago in the spring as part of the probe, according to a source familiar with the matter. For investigators to escalate their probe with a search, "there would have to be something serious enough that would merit more than a slap on the wrist," Firestone, now a partner at the DC-based firm Levy Firestone Muse, said. It's also notable that the DOJ hasn't gone the route of civil litigation against the former president for how he handled the documents in question. Just last week, the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against former Trump White House official Peter Navarro, alleging that Navarro had violated the Presidential Records Act and seeking a court order compelling him to turn over emails from a private account that he used while working at the Trump White House. Why now? The search was executed two months after the previously unreported June 3 meeting between DOJ investigators and Trump's attorneys at the resort. During the visit, reported by CNN on Monday, four investigators, including the chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, toured a basement where boxes of materials were being stored. Five days later, investigators sent Trump's attorneys a letter asking them to further secure the room storing the documents, prompting aides to add a padlock to the room. For the FBI to execute a search warrant two months later hints that the federal officials were not satisfied with what they saw on the visit or that they were not confident in the voluntary cooperation they were receiving from Trump's team, some legal experts said. It's possible federal officials also needed official sign off to repossess classified records. "The fact that the FBI learned Trump still had documents at [Mar a Lago] in June, and felt the need to come back two months later with a search warrant, indicates to me that the agency has evidence that Trump and his staff were holding onto additional classified records and not taking any steps to properly return them to the Archives," Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer, told CNN in an email. It also may have taken months for the Justice Department to decide to do search and how it should go about it. When the FBI was leaving Mar-a-Lago, Trump's team would have received a document akin to a receipt of what was taken. But DOJ can be as vague as it wants in that documentation. More broadly, the Justice Department can keep large swaths of its investigation secret, as the Justice Department made clear in court filings Monday evening around its search of John Eastman, the former Trump lawyer who spearheaded plots to subvert the 2020 election. In that filing -- where the Justice Department was arguing against an Eastman request that January 6 investigators return devices seized from him in late June in New Mexico -- prosecutors said there was no obligation for the Department to share with Eastman more details about the status of its probe. "The Government has no doubt that the movant would like to have full knowledge of the Government's investigation and the ability to 'engage [federal agents] in a debate over the basis of the warrant," the filing said. "But the law only, and properly, requires a neutral magistrate judge to find probable cause to search for and seize any electronic devices on his person; it does not require that the person searched know the basis for the warrant." What happens next? It still not known how off guard Trump's lawyers were with the FBI actions taken Monday and what Trump's team has been arguing to the DOJ about the handling of the documents in previous interactions with investigators. Trump could take a pre-emptive legal step to challenge in court the way the FBI handled the search, perhaps with the goal of getting thrown out any evidence investigators had obtained or at least to try to get more information about what investigators in probing. But without such court activity, the next steps of the investigation could very well continue in secret. Can Trump be barred from running for president if he is found to have violated records law? Another law that may be implicated by the FBI's search is one barring the willful concealment, removal or mutilation of government records. That law threatens as a punishment disqualification "from holding any office under the United States." However, there are questions about the constitutionality of that law and its applicability to a Trump presidential run, if he were to be convicted under it. Because the Constitution sets specific qualifications for presidential office -- and lays out a separate impeachment process for disqualifying presidents from holding office in the future -- some argue that Congress would not have the authority to enact such a statute that would apply to a presidential candidate.
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