Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the Senate floor last night after she tried to read a letter Coretta Scott King wrote in opposition of Donald Trump's Attorney General pick, Senator Jeff Sessions.
Last night, at one of the debate hearings to confirm President Donald Trump's Attorney General pick, Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator Elizabeth Warren got into a heated exchange with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and was subsequently silenced and asked to take her seat. All of this was the result of her decision to read a letter about Sessions from Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow, Coretta Scott King.
In 1986, Coretta Scott King wrote a letter to the United States District Court Southern District of Alabama to express her concern and opposition of the nomination of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, now Senator Jeff Sessions, for a federal judgeship for the Southern District of Alabama. According to a report from CNN, Sessions has been repeatedly criticized by Democrats for past allegations of racism that ruined his chances for a federal judgeship in 1986.
Warren tried to read the letter from King on Tuesday night but was halted by McConnell who claimed she was impugning Sessions and was directly in violation of a rule that prevents senators from bashing one another. Again, Warren was asked to take her seat and discontinue her remarks, but that did not stop her as she stepped outside of the debate to hop on Facebook Live and read the letter.
The key piece to this entire situation is how extremely rare and bizarre it is for a rebuke of this nature to occur on the Senate floor. Additionally, several of Warren's male colleagues were allowed to read portions of the letter or the entire document on Wednesday morning without being interrupted, including Senator Tom Udall and Senator Bernie Sanders.
You can view an excerpt of the letter below, in addition to a video of Warren's clash with McConnell. Read the full letter and complaint from King, courtesy of USA Today, here.
Dear Senator Thurmond:
I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. 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.