After Senator is Silenced for Reading Coretta Scott King Letter, CBC Releases...

After Senator is Silenced for Reading Coretta Scott King Letter, CBC Releases Blistering Statement

26 Aug 1983, Washington, DC, USA --- Original caption: 8/26/1983-Washington, D.C.: Coreta Scott King talks to a women's luncheon of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Earlier in the day she said that black leader Jesse Jackson has a right to run for the presidency but that she would not support him because she wants to support a candidate who can beat President Reagan. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The Senate debate over attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (D-AL) boiled over into confusion and accusations on Tuesday night as Senate Democrats carried their opposition into an all night long protest.

But at 7:15 p.m. as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recited the words of a letter authored by Coretta Scott King, the late widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The letter was critical of Sessions on race and voting rights.  Senators Jim Reich (R-Idaho) and Mitch McConnell then moved to silence her using a rule that is almost never mentioned on the Senate floor.  It has been at least two decades since a Senator has been silenced in such a way.

Hours later the Congressional Black Caucus released a blistering reply.

CBC Chairman Statement On Senate Decision to Stop Senator Warren from Reading King Letter Criticizing Attorney General Nominee

WASHINGTON – Today, the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman, Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02), issued a statement on Republican senators’ decision to stop Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) from reading a letter from Coretta Scott King criticizing attorney general nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). King wrote the letter in 1986 urging a Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee to reject then U.S. Attorney Sessions’ nomination for a district court judgeship.

“Republican senators’ decision tonight to silence Coretta Scott King from the grave is disgusting and disgraceful. Mrs. King’s characterization of then U.S. Attorney Senator Sessions was accurate in 1986 and it is accurate now. He is as much of a friend to the Black community and civil rights as Bull Connor and the other Good Old Boys were during the Civil Rights Movement.”

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for and Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: Instagram: LVB325.