Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), blocked from reading a letter from a civil rights leader on the Senate floor, took to live video to finish her remarks.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday that Warren had violated the upper chamber’s rules as she delivered a harsh speech opposing the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for attorney general.
From The Hill
Senate GOP subsequently voted to bar Warren from speaking on the Senate floor for the remainder of the debate on Sessions, expected to last into Wednesday evening.
Democrats immediately bashed McConnell for shutting Warren down, particularly as she read a letter from the late Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr., opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship in 1986.
“Tonight I wanted to read that letter, and Sen. Mitch McConnell and Republicans came to the floor to shut me down for reading that letter,” Warren said in a Facebook Live video late Tuesday night. “So right now what I’d like to do outside the Senate, I just want to read the letter.”
King wrote to the Judiciary Committee during Sessions’s 1986 confirmation hearings to oppose him, citing his record as a U.S. attorney in Alabama, particularly on voting rights.
“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship,” she wrote at the time.
Warren’s Facebook video drew 1.7 million views, 175,000 “likes” and nearly 50,000 shares by midnight.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also read the King letter from the Senate floor Tuesday night.