Warren was attempting to be transparent with the American people about the man vying for the most high-profile and powerful job in the judicial system.
But while reading the letter, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell abruptly interrupted her and asked that she be stopped for “impugning another senator” under Rule 19.
“Mr. President, I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate,” Warren appealed. “I ask leave of the Senate to continue my remarks.”
The motion was held and Warren was silenced. But she still took to Facebook live to read the rest of the telling letter that paints a picture of a racist and vindictive man, who has actively sought the destruction of civil rights.
“They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” Warren noted outside of the Senate doors.
BuzzFeed News first reported the existence of the letter last month, noting that it was never entered into the congressional record by then-Judiciary Committee Chair Strom Thurmond— another famous bigot. Despite the misogynistic and racist undertones of silencing Sen. Warren, we’re almost glad it happened — not only did two million people watch Warren read the letter on Facebook, but #CorettaScottKing became a trending topic on Twitter.
“My longstanding commitment which I shared with my husband, Martin, to protect and enhance the rights of Black Americans, rights which include equal access to the democratic process, compel me to testify today,” King starts the statement.
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“The irony of Mr. Sessions’ nomination is that, if confirmed, he will be given life tenure for doing with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished twenty years ago with clubs and cattle prods.”
She also reveals Sessions targeted attacks on activists who worked alongside her husband. “Mr. Sessions sought to punish older black civil rights activists, advisors and colleagues of my husband, who had been key figures in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.”
“Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans are grossly underrepresented at every level of government in America. If we are going to make our timeless dream of justice through democracy a reality, we must take every possible step to ensure that the spirit and intent of the Voting Right’s Act of 1965 and the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution is honored.”
Read the full 9-page letter from Coretta Scott King here.