The letter below was written by Dr. Martin Luther King's widow to Senator Strom Thurmond in 1986, after Senator Jeff Sessions had been nominated to be a federal judge. That nomination failed.
Dear Senator Thurmond:
I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.
I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However, I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions’ confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this be made a part of the hearing record.
I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Sessions.
Coretta Scott King
Last night Republicans voted to bar Senator Elizabeth Warren from speaking any further after she read the words of Mrs. King to the Senate as they were considering Sessions' current nomination to become Attorney General of the United States.
According to the Washington Post:
The Senate voted, 49 to 43, strictly on party lines... Warren was ordered to sit down and forbidden from speaking during the remainder of the debate on the nomination of Sessions.
So much for freedom of speech in the age of Trump-Republicans.