Feb 8, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Senate tells Warren to shut up

Alex Brandon / AP

Tuesday night, the Senate voted that Elizabeth Warren had broken Senate rules by impugning U.S. attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions during a speech she gave on the Senate floor.

What she said: "Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts." This came from a letter written by Coretta Scott King in the 80s when Sessions was undergoing confirmation hearings to become a federal judge. (He was not confirmed.)

McConnell's offense: "Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted," he said, according to Politico.

Warren's defense: "I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate," she said before the vote, according to USA Today.

The decision: 43-50 — Senator Warren isn't allowed to speak on the floor for the rest of Sessions' confirmation process.

Her reaction:

#LetLizSpeak: Shortly afterward, the Twitter hashtag #LetLizSpeak started trending, and a FaceBook Live video of Warren reading the letter reached almost 2 million views.

Go deeper