-- Democrats rushed to Twitter on Wednesday in defense of Sen. Elizabeth Warren after Republicans rebuked her on the Senate floor Tuesday night for quoting 30-year-old criticisms of Jeff Sessions ahead of his confirmation vote to become U.S. attorney general.
The Massachusetts senator had referenced comments that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and the late Coretta Scott King, wife of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., made in 1986 when Sessions, then a U.S. attorney, was under consideration for a federal judgeship. The GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately blocked his nomination by a 10-8 vote.
Quoting King’s letter from the floor Tuesday night, Warren said, "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge."
Many Democratic senators were incensed as a result, and they tweeted their outrage.
A video of Warren reading the letter outside the Senate Tuesday after she was kicked out has been viewed more than 7 million times on Facebook, and at least three Democratic senators read the letter aloud on the Senate floor Wednesday morning ahead of the vote that ultimately saw Sessions win confirmation.
Some of those senators, who were all men, pointed out what they said was a double-standard because Warren was the only one censured.
As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 600,000 tweets mentioning Warren, Coretta Scott King or the hashtag #LetLizSpeak, according to data from Twitter. Warren’s supporters have also picked up on McConnell’s own words, using “nevertheless, she persisted” and the hashtag #ShePersists as a rallying cry.
Warren said Wednesday she was “deeply surprised” that Republicans blocked her from speaking. She also reacted to the trending hashtag #LetLizSpeak.
“I have to say I don’t think this is about me,” Warren told ABC’ News on Wednesday. “I really think this is about Coretta Scott King. I think it’s about her letter.
“I think it’s about that moment in history and a sudden recognition that that moment in history touches this moment in history.”
While the Sessions confirmation vote was ongoing, about 200 protesters gathered outside of McConnell's house Wednesday evening and listened to King's letter read aloud.
Dr. E Faye Williams, president of the National Congress of Black Women, a group co-founded by King, read the letter on the sidewalk in front of McConnell's home.
Speaking to ABC News afterwards, Williams said: "My ancestors marched just to be able to live free in this country and one of the first things that they expected to have was freedom of speech."
"When we want to come out and we want to resist something, we want to protest against something, we can get people out," she added.
Civil rights lawyer Debra Katz attended the protest after being outraged at what happened to Warren, saying she believed it was a continuation of the post-inauguration Women's March.
"I think what the Senator hears from us is you can kick our representatives off the floor of the Senate but we will come to your house," Katz said.
ABC News' Karma Allen contributed to this report.