After the Senate removed Elizabeth Warren’s right to speak during the debate over the Jeff Sessions nomination, The Massachusetts Senator took to Twitter Tuesday night, using the hashtag #LetLizSpeak.
“I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system,” she wrote.
Before finishing reading the letter from Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King’s widow, on the Senate floor in her opposition of Sen. Jeff Session’s nomination as attorney general, Republicans decreed her actions uncouth. They charged Warren’s actions as a violation of Senate rules and voted to silence her for the rest of the debate. The vote went along party lines.
“They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” Warren later told CNN.
The confirmation vote on Sessions is expected Wednesday, but Warren will not be allowed to speak. “She was warned, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) said.
After she left the Senate, Warren went straight to a call-in appearance with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, where she told Maddow she had been “red-carded” from speaking. “I’m not allowed to speak so long as the topic is Senator Jeff Sessions,” Warren told Maddow when she asked how long she had to be silent.
“I hope everyone reads Coretta Scott King’s letter because her letter lays out in detail what it looked like in the 1980s when Jeff Session came up to be a federal judge,” Warren said, “and she talks about what it meant when he would be US attorney and the actions he took. She summarized by saying she did not believe that Jeff Sessions ought to be confirmed to a federal judicial position.”
The letter, Warren said, reminds us of a time that we would like to think is far behind us, but it… looks as though it is not.”
Republican Sen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), said Senators must “treat each other with respect.” Indicating Warren’s comments and her reading of the speech was disrespectful to Jeff Sessions.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-Vermont), said he “never saw a time when a member of the Senate asked to put into the record at letter…and somebody objected.”
Democrats cited examples of Republicans who had acted similarly that had not been rebuked and forbidden to participate, but it made little difference in the outcome of the vote to silence Warren. Nevertheless, Warren got her point across before being silenced, and if past indications show us anything, they show us that Warren won’t be silent for long.