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
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke