Dems: Silencing Warren amplified her message

Dems: Silencing Warren amplified her message
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Just don’t tell Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). 
 
The head of the House Democrats said Wednesday that the GOP’s maneuver was a gift to the Democrats opposing Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE (R-Ala.) for attorney general because it amplified Warren’s protest message — and that of the late Coretta Scott King, whose words Warren had invoked — many times over. 
 
Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE gave us a great opportunity to make sure that every American that wants to read Coretta Scott King’s letter will now have that opportunity to do so,” Crowley said Wednesday during the House Democrats’ annual issues conference at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 
 
“To bring out an arcane rule when all [Warren] was doing was shedding light on an historic figure’s opinion of Jeff Sessions, and why it may be relevant today, I think the American people are interested in what she had to say,” he added.
 
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“To see him … as the top law enforcer in our country might raise some alarms to not only Democrats, but Republicans and every American.” 
 
The uproar surrounding Warren began Tuesday night, when the Massachusetts liberal was delivering a scathing floor speech opposing Sessions, President Trump’s pick to head the Justice Department. 
 
Warren quoted from several outside sources during the speech, including a 1986 speech from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who had denounced Sessions as a “disgrace” when he was nominated that year to become a federal judge. 
 
Warren also pulled from a letter penned by King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., who had also rebuked Sessions during that confirmation process, saying he had used his powers as a state judge “to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.” 
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee, then chaired by Sen. Strom Thurmand (R-S.C.), ultimately voted against recommending Sessions's nomination to the full Senate.
 
McConnell, in moving to silence Warren on Tuesday, invoked a Senate rule barring senators from “impugning the motives” of their colleagues. 
 
“The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama,” McConnell said.
 
The Senate then passed the GOP motion on strict party lines. 
 
Crowley was quick to note that King’s letter was not entered into the record during the 1986 debate, “apparently because then-Chairman Strom Thurmond forgot to do so.” 
 
“One can question as to whether or not it was willful or not on his part,” he added. “We can’t ask him, obviously, at this point.” 
 
Thurmond, most famous for his staunch opposition to civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s, died in 2003.
 
The omission of King’s letter was not overlooked by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who wondered aloud why Kennedy’s equally fierce words were permitted to stand.
 
“I guess if a man says it, you don’t get the words taken down,” she mused, “but when a woman says it, you do.”