Senate debate on the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general came to a screeching — but temporary — halt Tuesday night in actions that resulted in the punishment of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, objected to a floor speech that Warren, D-Massachusetts, was giving in opposition to Sessions' nomination when she quoted a letter that Coretta Scott King wrote in opposition to Sessions during his attempted confirmation for a federal judgeship 30 years ago.
McConnell and Republican objectors said that Warren violated Senate rules. The rule, No. 19, says senators cannot "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."
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The Senate voted along partisan lines, 49-43, to admonish Warren, effectively barring her from speaking during the remaining debate on Sessions, R-Alabama.
"She has been warned multiple times (not just today)," McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told NBC News. "And after additional warning today, she was found in violation of the rule. She appealed the ruling and lost."