Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren received a stunning monition Tuesday evening from her fellow senators after she quoted from a letter that accused Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.) of racism during his tenure as a federal prosecutor.
Warren may have thought she could skirt the rules if she quoted someone else speaking about Sessions, but instead she was forced to end her remarks because of her breach of Senate protocol.
First, she quoted Sen. Edward Kennedy Sr., from 1986 when the Massachusetts Democrat led the opposition to Sessions joining the federal bench: “Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era, which I know both black and White Americans thought was in our past. It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. Attorney, let alone a U.S. federal judge, he is I believe a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”
The presiding officer, Sen. Steven Daines (R.-Mont.), warned Warren that her comments were a violation of Senate Rule XIX, with the characterization of Sessions as a disgrace to the Justice Department.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and attorney, pled bewilderment.