Democrat senators continued the barrage of attacks Wednesday against Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, using the debate to read a letter penned by Coretta Scott King, which Sen. Elizabeth Warren was barred from reading Tuesday night.
In the 1986 letter, Mrs. King, widow of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., urged senators not to confirm then U.S. Attorney of Alabama Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship, whose nomination ultimately did fail.
King wrote the following regarding Sessions’ role in a controversial voting fraud prosecution of three civil rights activists in Alabama: “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.”
Tuesday night, Sen. Warren was in the middle of reading the letter when she was silenced by Republican leaders, who cited Senate Rule 19 as grounds for their silencing.
Sen. Tom Udall continued the reading of the letter Wednesday, this time with no opposition from Republican senators. Udall said that the letter “goes right to the heart of what we are debating here on the Senate floor. What we are debating is our voting rights and whether we will have for the next four years or eight years an attorney general who is going to enforce the laws, particularly with regard to voting rights.”
The final Senate vote for Sessions, who is expected to be confirmed along party lines, is scheduled for Wednesday night.