Senate Democrats are taking to the Senate floor to read Coretta Scott King's letter after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Kamala Harris staffer mocks O'Reilly for saying Harris 'lost' his vote for president Kamala Harris announces presidential campaign 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. 
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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 UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSchumer wants answers from Trump on eminent domain at border Senate in last-minute talks to find deal to avert shutdown  House-passed stopgap measure in Senate limbo MORE (D-N.M.) read the letter from the Senate floor earlier Wednesday. Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell Brown2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Sen. Casey says he won't run for president in 2020 The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Day 27 of the shutdown | Cohen reportedly paid company to rig online polls, boost his own image | Atlantic publishes ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ cover story MORE (D-Ohio) also read the letter, and Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Dem on call for Nielsen investigation: I am 'sick and tired of this administration lying' Dem senator requests FBI investigate Nielsen for potential perjury Trump officials discussed ‘deterrent effect’ of prosecuting migrant parents: report 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 WhitehouseGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report Speculation swirls over candidates to succeed Rosenstein 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security Pence quotes MLK in pitch for Trump's immigration proposal 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.