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Sen. Warren Silenced for “Impugning” Sessions

February 7, 2017


Tonight on the Senate floor, Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced while reading a letter of Coretta Scott King written in 1986 regarding Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped Warren stating that she was violating a senate rule and that she had “impugned the conduct and motives of” Sessions, who is still a senator from Alabama.

Warren was speaking against Sessions’s record on civil rights and voting rights, which had resulted in his rejection as a nominee for a federal judgeship in 1986. The letter by Mrs. King had been submitted at that time in opposition to his appointment.

Warren had read the following passage from the letter when she was stopped: “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.”

Warren later stated that she had been “red-carded” and by senate rules would not be allowed to speak further on the Sessions nomination at all.

The full text of the letter from Mrs. King is here.

If McConnell wanted to ratchet up the rancor over this nomination, he could hardly have chosen a more explosive way to do it than by trying to censor a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow.  It appears that as far as McConnell and the Republican congressional leadership is concerned, the historical record regarding Sessions is off limits.




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