Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

A Rare Rebuke

On the Senate floor, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren clashed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after he determined that she had violated a Senate rule against impugning another senator.

This rarely used Senate rule resulted in Senator Warren being barred from speaking on the Senate floor until the debate over Trump’s nominee for attorney general Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama ended.

Senator Warren was in the process of reading from a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., had written to Sen. Strom Thurmond critical of Sessions who was then a nominee to be a federal judge.

Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana was presiding over the Senate at the time.  He told Senator Warren: "The senator is reminded that it is a violation of Rule 19 of the standing rules of the Senate to impugn another senator or senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator."

Warren responded: "I don't think I quite understand.  I'm simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Sessions to be a federal court judge meant and what it would mean in history for her."

Daines explained: "You stated that a sitting senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice."

Warren continued, until Senate Majority Leader McConnell went to the floor and told Warren she was in violation of the rule.  Warren asked for a roll call vote on her appeal of the decision but it was defeated.  But, she added: "They can shut me up, but they can't change the truth."

Sessions is one of eight nominees Senate Democrats have attempted to defeat.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the letter Coretta Scott King wrote in 1986, to Sen. Strom Thurmond criticizing Jeff Sessions, who was then a nominee to be a federal judge.


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