“When Senator Warren read her statement, she was told that she could no longer participate in this debate over Senator Sessions’ nomination which I regard as an outrage,” Sanders said on the Senate floor.
“We need to hear all points of view,” said Sanders, adding it was “incomprehensible” that a letter written by Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, “could not be presented and spoken about here on the Senate floor.”
Warren was denounced by Senate Republicans on Tuesday night after quoting King during a debate over Sen. Jeff Sessions‘ nomination to become attorney general, a controversial post for the 70-year-old senator who once lost a judgeship, in part, due to a seemingly positive remark about the Ku Klux Klan.
While it was Warren reading the letter, it was King who was really silenced last night on the Senate floor. Warren, when told she was violating Senate rules, was attempting to read a 30-year-old letter by King, which explained why she, in 1986, opposed Sessions’ nomination to become a federal judge in Alabama.
Sanders also read the letter in full on Wednesday:
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Tuesday night said he was “astounded” by Warren’s so-called lack of “etiquette and courtesy” and—to the amazement of many—told Warren that she should think of how her words would affect Sessions’ wife.
“Jeff Sessions is a very fine person,” Hatch said. “Think of his wife. She is a really fine person.”
Sanders went on to liken the Republican senators’ actions to President Donald Trump, who has displayed open hostility toward judges.
You don't ban a senator from participating in debate. Sen. McConnell owes Sen. Warren an apology. This is a fight we'll continue. pic.twitter.com/gCuvYiElMc
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 8, 2017
“It comes at a time when we have a president who refers to a judge who issues a ruling in opposition to the president as a ‘so-called judge,’” Sanders said, “which tells every judge in America that they will be insulted and marginalized by this president if they dare to disagree with him.”