|Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Coretta_Scott_King_1964.jpg|
Elizabeth Warren chose to make that history known by reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship because of his racist treatment of African Americans trying to vote in Alabama in the 1980's when Sessions was not a US senator but the state's attorney general. The letter is eloquent, detailed, and credible. By reading it, Elizabeth Warren would unmask the silence of Sessions' racist past, exposing any senator who voted to confirm him as complicit with an agenda not compatible with the duties of the attorney general or the rights enshrined in the US Constitution and in hard-fought laws and landmark court rulings.
Instead, Senator Warren was silenced. "Rule 19," which sounds like something out of a children's game, was the weapon. Mitch McConnell was the silencer. His demeaning treatment of Senator Warren is now legendary: "She was warned!"
Telling Senator Warren she could not speak about Sessions was demeaning, embarrassing to our country and our Senate, and frankly childish. But thanks to Mitch McConnell, a whole new generation now knows Coretta Scott King as not just the beautiful supportive presence beside Martin Luther King, Jr., but as a force for justice in her own right. By silencing one powerful woman, Mitch McConnell gave voice to another. And he quite inadvertently but very effectively showed the nation that his effusive praise of Jeff Sessions cannot hide Sessions' personal racism and his undeniable history of a willingness to use the full force of his public office in its service.
We need an attorney general who will enforce our most just laws and work to improve our justice system for everyone. Jeff Sessions is not that person. And now, thanks to Elizabeth Warren and Coretta Scott King, we all know to watch every move he makes, speak up when he fails to uphold the law, and stay vigilant on behalf of those least likely to be well served while he holds this office.
Thank you, Senator Warren, for shedding light on Mr. Sessions' role in one of the darkest moments in our history and for bringing into the light another powerful moment of resistance!
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