After his colleague Elizabeth Warren was silenced by the Senate on Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders read Coretta Scott King’s letter protesting Jeff Sessions to the body on Wednesday morning. Warren had begun reading the letter before the assembled Senate on Tuesday when Senate Majority Leader invoked Senate Rule XIX to force Warren to cede her floor time. The rule states that Senators may not ” by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” Despite the fact that the words were not Warren’s own, a party line vote forced her off the floor to the immediate outrage of millions following the situation across the country.
“The idea that a letter, a statement made by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., a letter that she wrote, could not be presented and spoken about here on the floor of the Senate, is to me incomprehensible,” Sanders said before reading the letter. “I want the American people to make a decision whether or not we should be able to look at Senator Sessions’ record and hear from one of the heroines of the Civil Rights Movement.”