Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Freedom of Speech

But not for Liz.
Senate Republicans voted on Tuesday night to silence Elizabeth Warren for reading out a letter from the widow of Martin Luther King during a debate over Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general, eliciting furious response from Democrats.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Warren quoted from 30-year-old correspondence from Coretta Scott King relating to Sessions’ failed judicial nomination in the 1980s.


Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, objected that Warren had broken Senate [Rule 19].


Under “Rule 19,” Senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator”.

What a stupid rule. Who would know better the bad conduct of a Senator than another Senator?
Late on Tuesday night, she read the letter on Facebook Live, writing, “During the debate on whether to make Jeff Sessions the next Attorney General, I tried to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate. The letter, from 30 years ago, urged the Senate to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship. The Republicans took away my right to read this letter on the floor - so I’m right outside, reading it now.” In less than an hour and a half after it was posted, the video had already received more than 2m views.
But not by any Republican Senators, I would venture to guess.
[The] letter written by King in March 1986 [expressed] her opposition to Sessions as a federal district court judge for the southern district of Alabama. “Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts,” King wrote.


Donna Brazile, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said: “It’s a sad day in America when the words of Martin Luther King Jr’s widow are not allowed on the floor of the United States Senate. Let Elizabeth Warren speak."
Hang on. If anybody needs to be silenced in the Senate, it's Donna Brazile. She shouldn't even be there after her conduct during the presidential debates.
[Warren] will not be allowed to speak from the floor until the end of Sessions’ nomination process; the vote is expected Wednesday evening.
Insane.  No wonder our Congress doesn't function well.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

And, why should we think of his wife?  I doubt even Sessions does that.

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