Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) has been blocked from speaking on the floor after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell ruled her address to members of senate a violation of floor rules.
Warren addressed her colleagues by reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to oppose the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to Attorney General of US.
Sessions’ nomination was met with much controversy, with his opponents citing his history of racism throughout his political career.
Warren began reading from the letter, written in 1986 by King, that included scathing criticism of Sessions and supported Warren’s conjectures that the Alabama senator’s nomination is problematic.
“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge,” she read.
During her speech, McConnell warned Warren that her comments were in violation of Senate rule 19.
“The senator is reminded that it is a violation of Rule 19 of the standing rules of the Senate to impugn another senator or senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana told Warren, according to CNN.
Warren responded in confusion saying, “I’m simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Sessions to be a federal court judge meant and what it would mean in history for her.”
After an emotional exchange, McConnell took to the floor and instructed Warren to take her seat. This decision will bar Warren from speaking on the floor until deliberations over Sessions’ nomination concludes.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell said in response to the decision.
“You stated that a sitting senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice,” said Daines, explaining what Warren had done to violate the rule.
During an appearance on CNN, Warren explained her position.
“The letter is powerful. The letter is deeply moving. And the letter is an important historical document,” Warren told Don Lemon on ‘CNN Tonight.
“They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth.”