‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’: Rebuke of Sen. Warren Becomes Rallying Cry Online

"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted"

warren-mcconnell
AP

The words used to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren during a Senate debate Tuesday evening have become a rallying cry on social media for her supporters.

#ShePersists, #LetLizSpeak and Silencing Elizabeth Warren were trending on Twitter Wednesday with tens of thousands of tweets in the wake of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling Warren she couldn't quote a letter penned by a civil rights leader to criticize attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, citing an arcane rule that senators cannot indict or shame another sitting senator.

“Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech,” McConnell said in a statement. “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Twitter users responded fiercely, using the end of McConnell's statement to point out women who have defiantly refused to be silent, including Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted her support Wednesday afternoon, adding "So must we all" to the quote.

Senate Republicans shut down Warren's testimony during her dissent of Sen. Jeff Sessions' confirmation. Warren read a 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King that criticized Session’s position on civil right while he was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. 

It says Sessions exercised his power to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district.” Sessions' nomination to lead the Justice Department has been met with outcry from many Senate Democrats over his record on civil rights.

McConnell objected to her speech as a violation Senate Rule 19, which says that "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." The senate voted along party lines, 49-43, to admonish the rest of Warren’s testimony.

After Republicans stopped Warren from reading the letter, she recorded a Facebook live video of herself reading the letter in its entirety.

And other Democratic senators were subsequently able to read King's letter in full without being censured. It was not immediately clear why they weren't rubuked along the same lines. 

Contact Us