Taken by surprise, Senator Elizabeth Warren is asked to stop talking and take her seat. Photo via NBC News.
Prior to a confirmation vote for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, Senator Elizabeth Warren took to the Senate floor to express her distaste in the nomination. It was not long before an objection was voiced against Warren by none other than Mitch McConnell. Citing Rule XIX, which prohibits a Senator from speaking to “impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”, the majority leader made the attempt to rid the floor of Senator Warren. Iin an effort to showcase Sessions’ less than ideal history surrounding civil rights, Warren was busy reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to her late husband Dr. Martin Luther King. Obviously taken by surprise, Senator Warren questioned the legitimacy of not being able to debate the words of Mrs. King in the Senate but was quickly shot down as Montana Senator Steve Daines sustained the objection and invited Senator Warren to take her seat.
Democrats have rallied in support of Warren while Republicans have supported the decision that was made to quiet the Senator. The Republicans, who hold the Senate, claim that Warren had been warned several times prior to the moment about similar conduct. The Democrats claim that it has been no more than a selective enforcement of the rule against Senator Warren as it hasn’t been used previously against outspoken Republicans during the Obama administration. The Massachusetts Senator wasn’t silent for long; she soon took to Facebook and Twitter to voice her concern of the actions taken against her. On Facebook she read the letter from Mrs. King via video which has now been viewed over 5.5 million times. It is unlikely the Republicans could have anticipated the video to go viral and spark such a debate. Regardless, Senator Warren is currently not allowed to speak again on the floor until Jeff Sessions’ likely confirmation later today. Assuming most Republican Senators choose not to follow Warren on Facebook, they probably rest comfortably in the absence of her voice.
Read the full article from the New York Times.