On Tuesday evening, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tried to read a letter from the late Coretta Scott King about Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions but was prevented from doing so by Senate Major Leader Mitch McConnell.
In the letter, King writes, “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.”
In 1986, the letter was used to block the nomination of Sessions to a federal judgeship that year. McConnell ruled that Warren could not use the letter, according to Senate Rule XIX (we don’t know what it is, either), so instead, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley stood up and read the letter to the Senate himself.
Watch his speech here.
And here is the complete letter King wrote about Sessions.
As we celebrate February Black History Month, it is especially crucial to remember the history of civil rights activism that paved way for many of the rights and resources many in the Asian and Pacific Islander community have today. Coretta Scott King’s words reverberate with us as we continue working towards a just world, and recognizing our liberation is linked – Only when all black people have justice and liberation can we all move closer to real freedom.
Since the start of the Trump administration, Senator Merkley–as well as Senator Ron Wyden– has consistently pushed back on Trump’s policies, serving as a voice for inclusion and reason.
Please contact Senator Merkley’s office and thank him for reading King’s letter. We need our leaders to know that their actions are appreciated when they stand up for racial justice.