Warren violates arcane rule, sparking Senate dustup

Posted at 9:23 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 21:23:43-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren has earned a rare rebuke by the Senate for — believe it or not — quoting Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor.

The Massachusetts Democrat ran afoul of the chamber’s arcane rules by reading a 30-year-old letter from Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow that dated to Sen. Jeff Sessions’ failed judicial nomination three decades ago. The chamber is debating the Alabama Republican’s nomination for attorney general.

King wrote that when acting as a federal prosecutor, Sessions used his power to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

Quoting King put Warren in violation of Senate rules for “impugning the motives” of Sessions.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell invoked the rules. After a few parliamentary moves, the GOP-controlled Senate voted to back him up.