LetLizSpeak was trending on Twitter Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning after Senate Republicans voted to strike down the words of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) against the Attorney General nomination of fellow senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), claiming her words impugned his character.
In what The Washington Post calls “an extraordinarily rare move,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren’s speech, saying she breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Sessions from figures such as the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama,” McConnell said, then setting up a series of roll-call votes on Warren’s conduct. The vote went 47-43, strictly on party lines, and resulted in Warren not being able to speak during the remainder of the debate over Sessions.
McConnell specifically cited portions of a letter that King wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to Sessions’ 1986 nomination to be a federal judge.
King’s scathing 10-page letter read in part, “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.” (Emphasis hers.)
Sessions was later denied a federal judgeship.
Senators allege that Warren violated Rule 19 of the Senate that says senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”
“I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate,” Warren said after McConnell’s motion.
Never one to back down from a fight, Warren promptly went on social media to decry the motion and then went to a nearby room and read King’s letter on Facebook Live.
The hashtag #LetLizSpeak was still trending on Wednesday morning.
Coretta Scott King’s 10-page letter can be read in its entirety here.
SOURCE: The Washington Post