Last night, during debate on the nomination of well known racist, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Elizabeth Warren was reading the actual letter from Coretta Scott King to the Senate in 1986 urging the rejection of him for a federal judgeship. The letter, where King outlined in detail Sessions long record (even back then) of voter suppression and indifference to civil rights violations as a US Attorney, weighed heavily on the Senate which eventually rejected his nomination. While Warren was reading from the well of the Senate, Turtle Neck McConnell objected to the reading based on Rule 19 of the Senate which prohibits the disparagement of a Senator by another Senator. Steve Daine (R-Montana) immediately ruled against Warren. She called for a vote and lost 49-43 along party lines and is now forbidden from speaking further during this debate.
So, the United States Senate just invoked an archaic rule to stifle the debate about another Senator who is aspiring to the highest law enforcement office in the land. In this particular case, the words being stifled were those not of Warren, but Mrs. King who had so vehemently objected to Session’s nomination to the federal bench all those long years ago. So, here are the new rules: If a Senator is up for a higher position that is subject to Senate confirmation, those who oppose that particular nomination are forbidden to discuss why they are in opposition. Welcome to totalitarianism.
Here is the initial exchange:
Here is Warren reading the letter outside the chamber after she was ejected:
Pass it on.