By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren has earned a rare rebuke by the Senate for quoting Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor.

The Massachusetts Democrat ran afoul of the chamber’s arcane rules by reading a three-decade-old letter from Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow that dated to Sen. Jeff Sessions’ failed judicial nomination three decades ago.

The chamber is debating the Alabama Republican’s nomination for attorney general, with Democrats dropping senatorial niceties to oppose Sessions and Republicans sticking up for him.

King wrote that when acting as a federal prosecutor, Sessions used his power to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

Quoting King technically put Warren in violation of Senate rules for “impugning the motives” of Sessions, though senators have said far worse. And Warren was reading from a letter that was written 10 years before Sessions was even elected to the Senate.

Still, top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell invoked the rules. After a few parliamentary moves, the GOP-controlled Senate voted to back him up.

Now, Warren is forbidden from speaking again on Sessions’ nomination. A vote on Sessions is expected Wednesday evening.

Democrats seized on the flap to charge that Republicans were muzzling Warren, sparking liberals to take to Twitter to post the King letter in its entirety.

Warren argued: “I’m reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to the Judiciary Committee from 1986 that was admitted into the record. I’m simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be a federal court judge meant and what it would mean in history for her.”

Warren was originally warned after reading from a statement by former Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., that labeled Sessions a disgrace.

Democrats pointed out that McConnell didn’t object when Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called him a liar in a 2015 dustup.

The episode was followed by lamentations by Senate veterans, including its most senior Republican, Orrin Hatch of Utah, about how the Senate is too partisan.

Comments (12)
  1. Warren violated the rules of the Senate and for that she’s put on pedestal by her supporters. The same supporters who overlook her lies about her ethnic background and her attempt to practice law in MA with out license.

    What morons. By condoning her actions you condone lawlessness. Don’t like the rules? Don’t like the laws? Elect representation that will change them instead of just blowing hot stinking air, like Warren. Elect someone that will represent the Commonwealth instead of just trying to further her immoral, unethical, narcissistic career.

  2. wow Steve, Hyperbole much?
    You see, we support her despite the unsubstantiated claims by republicans. I have no problem voting for a republican if they are qualified, I voted for Baker because he was a better candidate Coakley. Brown as a patsy for the Koch’s, we have him on video, proof. The fact his team had to dig up this drivel in an attempt to beat Warren shows how bad a candidate he truly was. As for her making changes, what you see a bluster the rest of us see as her pushing her way to making changes FOR the people of the Commonwealth.

  3. our state reeks with nightmares elected by folks either brainless or on drugs…this gal is all fake,…a one term nightmare brown lost by an error in the dna of ma voters common sense…one big mouth piece of garbage…..

    1. Brown lost because he was incompetent and in the deep pockets of the Koch brothers, plain and simple. Warren will win, again, because she is actually trying to and making changes as well as bringing a spotlight on how truly bad the GOP is treating the people of America.

  4. Chuck Cahill says:

    She needs to be muzzled because all she does is slew venom and lies. There’s a reason she earned the nick name of Pocohantus here in Massachusetts………Or “Chief Full of Bull”.

  5. Elizabeth Warren just like to dig dirt. She is so negative. She tries to look for the worst in people. We all make mistake, it’s part of the learning experience. She’ll go back into someone’s life looking for faults. She is such an idiot. Then she tries to talk down one of the Senator by searching his past. Not 5 years, but 30 years. She needs to go away. The Democrats are becoming an endanger specie. The People have spoken by electing a majority of Republican both the House and Senate. One of the worst Senator with a criminal back ground was Edward Kennedy, when drunk, killed a young lady. Yes, he was from Massachusetts. He was more concern about his career than the life of that young lady.

  6. She’s just living up to her name – Fakeahontis – which, in the Algonquin language, is pronounced the same. Yeah she’ll be gone next time around. I don’t blame Mitch at all, hanging your hat on someone else’s opinion from decades ago is just a counterproductive effort. They just don’t get it…

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