Speed Reads

Wow

Elizabeth Warren silenced on Senate floor for quoting Coretta Scott King

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was interrupted on the Senate floor Tuesday night by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.) as she read a searing letter written by Coretta Scott King, with McConnell accusing Warren of breaking the Senate's rules.

Dr. Martin Luther King's widow wrote the letter against Sen. Jeff. Sessions (R-Ala.) in 1986, when Sessions, then a federal prosecutor, was up for a job as a federal judge, saying he used his power as a prosecutor to "chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens." Now, Sessions is President Trump's pick for attorney general, and McConnell said that by reading the missive, Warren "impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama," a violation of the Senate's arcane Rule 19.

Warren said she was "surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King were not suitable for debate in the United States Senate," and when she tried to finish her remarks, McConnell objected and she was told to take her seat. McConnell was backed up by his fellow Republicans, and Warren told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that she is now not allowed to speak on the Senate floor as long as Sessions is the topic. Catherine Garcia