Senate Republicans' move to block Sen. Elizabeth Warren from speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday was "tantamount to censure," says Sen. Cory Booker.
"I am proud tonight of Sen. Warren. She stood and told her truth. To see this body act as it did tonight is disappointing to me," the New Jersey Democrat said on the Senate floor Tuesday night, The Hill reports.
The Senate voted along party lines — 49 - 43 — to stop Warren from speaking about Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general. She had been reading from Coretta Scott King's objection in 1986 to Sessions' nomination for a federal judgeship at that time.
King's letter was a rebuke of Sessions, saying his actions had harmed voting rights.
"Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge," King wrote in the 1986 letter.
"In the midst of her speaking her truth, in the midst of her speaking her heart, she was stopped. This had to do with her constitutional duty to provide advice and consent," Booker said, according to The Hill.
While he said he presided over speeches on the Senate floor that had made him "uncomfortable," he said he had never seen the rule used before.
"There could have been many other times when that rule was used," he added.
Booker praised Sessions, saying that his "love of country" is not in question. However, "sometimes love requires telling the truth."
The Senate's vote to silence Warren was Rule 19, 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."
After the vote, Warren went outside the chambers and continued her reading, posting it on Facebook.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., read King's letter on the Senate floor after Warren was blocked, according to Oregon Live.
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