Booker: Warren vote 'tantamount to censure'
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Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) defended Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Senate nixes Obama-era workplace safety rule MORE (D-Mass.) after Senate Republicans moved to temporarily block her from speaking on the Senate floor. 
 
"I am proud tonight of Sen. Warren. She stood and told her truth. To see this body act as it did tonight is disappointing to me," Booker said from the Senate floor on Tuesday night. 
 
Booker added that he was "aggrieved" and "shocked," arguing the move was "tantamount to censure." 
 
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Senators rebuked Warren in a 49-43 party-line vote, rejecting her push to overturn a ruling by Senate Republicans that she had violated the rules during a Senate floor speech. The move will block her from speaking from the Senate floor through Wednesday evening.
 
The move sparked near immediate backlash from Democrats. 
 
Booker — a potential 2020 presidential contender, along with Warren — echoed Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Gorsuch hearings: A referendum on Originalism and corporate power MORE (D-N.Y.) in arguing that Republicans are selectively enforcing the Senate rules. 
 
"In the midst of her speaking her truth, in the midst of her speaking her heart, she was stopped," Booker said. "This had to do with her constitutional duty to provide advice and consent." 

Under the Senate’s “Rule 19,” senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator."

Booker noted that as a freshman senator he frequently had to preside over floor speeches including statements that made him "uncomfortable." 

"I've never seen ... someone stopped form speaking from the Senate floor," he said. "There could have been many other times when that rule was used." 
 
Booker — one of three current African-American senators — chided Republicans for not allowing Warren to finish a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions's nomination for a federal judgeship, which he argued many lawmakers believed was "substantive." 
 
"This body of all bodies should respect this idea of free speech," he said. "I am so proud that Sen. Elizabeth Warren ... honored that Martin Luther King tradition." 
 
McConnell argued earlier Tuesday that Warren's blistering floor speech broke the Senate rules. 
 
As part of the speech, Warren quoted a letter Coretta Scott King wrote during Sessions's failed confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship, saying that he “had used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens" as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. 
 
Booker added on Tuesday that while senators generally respect Sessions and no one is questioning his "love of country," he stressed that "sometimes loves requires telling the truth."
 
"We need someone who is going to stand up, speak up and speak out for the people that need help," Booker said. "For the people who have been discriminated against."