Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren was silenced during the Senate on Tuesday prompting mass outcry.
On the Senate floor Warren started read out a letter written by Coretta Scott King – the wife of Martin Luther King – in 1986, criticising Senator Jeff Sessions. Warren had been compelled to read the letter following Sessions’ nomination for attorney general, which had been met with widespread criticism.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell objected to her reading of the letter, which broke an decree called Rule XIX which states:
No Senator in debate shall, 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.”
King’s letter argued that, during Sessions’ time as a prosecutor in Alabama, he “used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.
Members of the senate voted, and she was forbidden from speaking on the Senate floor.
Senator McConnell concluded with:
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
#ShePersisted quickly became a rallying cry on Twitter, as people began to protest her silencing:
People started sharing badass women from history.
In fact people are sharing Mrs King's letter...
In the letter Mrs King expresses her opposition to Sessions' nomination to federal judgeship at the time.