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Black Caucus Dems Take to Senate to Protest Sessions

Congressional Blakc Caucus members took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to protest the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general.

The Hill reports:

“Sen. Sessions may be one of the most incompatible nominees to the Department of Justice that we’ve seen in decades — that department is a department of the vulnerable,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said after exiting the Senate floor.

“It is a department that deals with the issues of civil rights mostly; it deals with the issue of voting rights and the empowerment of women,” the CBC member continued.

“It deals with the issues of protecting those on the question of marriage equality, gender discrimination — and no record has been more potent against all of those issues.”

Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay (Mo.), Hank Johnson (Ga.) and John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.) and Jamie Raskin (Md.) joined in.

Jackson Lee said the group is “outraged” by GOP senators voting to prevent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) from speaking out against Sessions late Tuesday.

“I think last night and the treatment of Sen. Warren spoke loudly to the crux of our concern,” she said.

“Will there be any free speech and freedom in the Department of Justice, a place where you are to uphold the Constitution, if Elizabeth Warren cannot read from our beloved Coretta Scott King’s letter?”

The Senate voted to bar Warren from speaking on the floor late Tuesday after she fiercely criticized Sessions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Warren violated Senate rules having “impugned” Sessions’s character.

Warren quoted a letter from the late Coretta Scott King, a civil rights activist and Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, during her blistering remarks on Sessions.

Coretta Scott King wrote in 1986 that Sessions “had used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

The message was penned before Sessions’s failed confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship that year and targeted his work as a U.S. attorney in Alabama.

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