Last night, the country was shocked when Mitch McConnell silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren for reading the words of Coretta Scott King, written in 1986 in reference to Warren’s fellow senator and Trump Attorney General Nominee Jefferson Beauregard Sessions — who was, at the time, a nominee to the federal bench. The treatment of Warren, including McConnell’s admonishment that “nonetheless she persisted” has led to an online outcry and a meme.
Although Strom Thurmond blocked King’s letter, Session’s nomination at the time was not confirmed because of the questions about race raised during the hearings. Unfortunately, Sessions is likely to be confirmed tonight.
Today, Warren’s male colleagues Senator Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown and Tom Udall read the letter without protest. Before you call your senator (which you should!) in a last ditch attempt to forestall the Sessions confirmation, take time to read and share King’s letter and statement.
Here is the most crucial quote from the statement that follows the letter:
Civil rights leaders, including my husband and Albert Turner, have fought long and hard to achieve free and unfettered access to the ballot box. Mr. Sessions has used-the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen. Mr. Sessions’ conduct as U.S. Attorney, from his politically-motivated voting fraud prosecutions to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicates that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge.