“America got a civics lesson Tuesday night when Senate Republicans used an obscure rule to shut down a speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that criticized Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the nominee for attorney general.
Republicans took issue when Warren quoted from a pair of letters written by the late Coretta Scott King and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) opposing Sessions’s ill-fated nomination to a federal judgeship in 1986. King’s letter accused Sessions of racial bias; Kennedy’s called him a “disgrace to the Justice Department.”
It was all too much for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said Warren had “impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama.” In an extraordinary move, the Senate voted on party lines to shut her down, as The Washington Post’s Paul Kane and Ed O’Keefe reported.
The mechanism used to silence Warren is known as Rule 19, an arcane and seldom invoked provision in the Rules of the…
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