Senate Democrats are taking to the Senate floor to read Coretta Scott King's letter after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSanders: Dems won't vote on 'sham' single payer amendment GOP Senator forces Dems to vote on single payer Dem says ObamaCare repeal effort moves US ‘toward single-payer’ MORE (D-Mass.) was temporarily banned from speaking.  

 
"The idea that a letter and a statement made by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. ... could not be presented and spoken about here on the floor of the Senate is, to me, incomprehensible," he said from the Senate floor. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Sanders read the entirety of the letter including a portion — which got Warren in hot water on Tuesday night — that alleged Sessions "has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens." 

Sanders — who missed Tuesday night's vote — defended Warren, arguing that she brought "forth a statement made by one of the heroines, one of the great leaders of the civil rights movement of the United States of America."  

Sanders' speech comes after Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Energy: House passes Russia sanctions deal with oil, gas fix Dem bill would ban controversial pesticide FCC chair: Trump hasn't tried to intervene on Time Warner merger MORE (D-N.M.) read the letter from the Senate floor earlier Wednesday. Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSenate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote GOP Senate candidate attacks Anti-Defamation League for ‘witchhunt' on far right Senate Banking leaders introduce flood insurance bill MORE (D-Ohio) also read the letter, and Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDems don’t want to help GOP improve repeal bill OPINION | Shailene Woodley: US should run on renewable energy by 2050 Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere MORE (D-Ore.) read parts of it on Tuesday night. 

"It's a sad day for our democracy ... when the words of Coretta Scott King are not allowed on the floor of the U.S. Senate," Brown said.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Regulation: Federal prisons want to increase use of restraints | EPA moves ahead on water rule repeal Overnight Energy: EPA moves forward with water rule repeal Dem senators pitch carbon tax to conservatives MORE (D-R.I.) had tried to include the letter in the record on Tuesday night but was blocked by Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho). 

Warren thanked both Brown and Udall on Twitter for their support. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren on Tuesday night and said that she had violated Senate rules by impugning her colleague, Sessions, President Trump's pick for attorney general.

Senate Republicans voted to rebuke Warren, and she is barred from speaking on the Senate floor through Wednesday evening, when lawmakers will wrap up the debate on Sessions' nomination.

A progressive outside group blasted Republicans as being "sexist" for allowing the male Democratic senators to read part of the letter but not Warren. 

“It is unbelievably hypocritical and sexist for Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDems don’t want to help GOP improve repeal bill Bipartisan group of governors call on GOP to reject skinny repeal Dems get CBO scores on what they think skinny bill will look like MORE to silence Sen. Warren citing the words of a civil rights hero, but allow her male colleagues to speak the very same words without objection," said  Kait Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. 

- Updated at 1:52 p.m.