It’s February 7th, 2017. United States Senators are debating whether to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued against the confirming Sessions and quoted the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., saying Sessions is a “disgrace to the Justice Department.”
Warren then read a letter, from 1986, by Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. In the letter, King called out Sessions’ fitness for the office sighting Sessions “has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge.” Sessions did not win confirmation for the judgeship but was later elected to the Senate.
However, in the middle of reading the letter Warren was silenced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky who cited the arcane and rarely invoked Rule 19, which states that “no Senator in debate shall, 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.” She continued to speak out despite before being forced to remain silent for the rest of the debate. (more…)