Elizabeth Warren rebuked for quoting Coretta Scott King in Senate debate on Jeff Sessions nomination

The Massachusetts Democrat is now forbidden from speaking again on his nomination

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 08 February 2017 08:29
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Elizabeth Warren silenced in Senate for quoting Coretta Scott King

Senator Elizabeth Warren was rebuked by the Senate for quoting Coretta Scott King after a top Senate Republican said she had violated rules for “impugning the motives” of Senator Jeff Sessions.

The Massachusetts Democrat ran afoul of the chamber’s arcane rules by reading a three-decade-old letter from Dr Martin Luther King’s widow, which said Mr Sessions used his power when acting as federal prosecutor to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens”.

By quoting Ms King, Ms Warren was technically in violation of Senate rules for “impugning the motives” of Mr Sessions, though senators have said far worse.

And Ms Warren was reading from a letter written 10 years before Mr Sessions was elected to the Senate.

Still, Mitch McConnell invoked the rules and the GOP-controlled Senate voted to back him.

Ms Warren is now forbidden from speaking again on Mr Sessions’ nomination.

Democrats argued Republicans were attempting to silence Ms Warren, sparking liberals to take to Twitter to post Ms King’s letter in its entirety.

Ms Warren argued: “I’m reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to the Judiciary Committee from 1986 that was admitted into the record.

“I’m simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be a federal court judge meant and what it would mean in history for her.”

She was originally warned after reading from a statement by former Senator Edward Kennedy, which labelled Mr Sessions a disgrace.

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