Senate Democrats are taking to the Senate floor to read Coretta Scott King's letter after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.) was temporarily banned from speaking.
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 UdallRubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees Senate confirms Thomas Nides as US ambassador to Israel Flake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay MORE (D-N.M.) read the letter from the Senate floor earlier Wednesday. Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats Powell says Fed will consider faster taper amid surging inflation Biden faces new pressure from climate groups after Powell pick MORE (D-Ohio) also read the letter, and Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO 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 WhitehouseWhat's that you smell in the Supreme Court? The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure 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 McConnellUS could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal 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.