Video: Mitch McConnell Admonishes Chuck Schumer for Threatening Supreme Court Justices
It all started when Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the Senate Minority leader, took to the steps of the United States Supreme Court and faced an angry mob of pro-abortion protestors, At that moment, the Court was hearing arguments in a case concerning a Louisiana law that requires a doctor performing abortions to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. The decision on the case will not be handed down for some months. However, Schumer was having none of it.
According to Real Clear Politics, Schumer was in high dudgeon when he offered the following blood-curdling threat.
: We know what’s at stake. Over the last three years, women’s reproductive rights have come under attack in a way we haven’t seen in modern history. From Louisiana to Missouri to Texas, Republican legislatures are waging a war on women, all women, and they’re taking away fundamental rights. I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
The reaction was swift, filled with outrage, and bipartisan. Naturally, President Donald Trump was quick to take to Twitter.
“This is a direct & dangerous threat to the U.S. Supreme Court by Schumer. If a Republican did this, he or she would be arrested, or impeached. Serious action MUST be taken NOW!”
Fox News reports that Chief Justice John Roberts offered a rare admonishment. In part he stated, “Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous. All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”
Lawrence Tribe, the often-quoted liberal Harvard Law professor, weighed in by calling Schumer’s threat “Inexcusable” and demanded that the senator withdraw the threat and apologize at once.
Noah Pollack, a contributor to the Washington Free Beacon, noted that Schumer had mangled the famous Bible verse, “They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
Hot Air notes that Schumer put out a statement claiming that he meant a “political price” and that, besides, Chief Justice Roberts ought to have admonished Trump for all the times he attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Hot Air was having none of it. While Schumer may not have consciously threatening Gorsuch and Kavanaugh with violence, some unstable person (and the abortion debate is filled with them) might take the hint and show up at one of their private homes or decide to chase them out of a public restaurant, as has happened to other public figures such as Sen. Ted Cruz.
It was against that backdrop that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the Senate and opened up on his Democratic opposite number. As Hot Air noted:
‘The Minority Leader of the United States Senate threatened two Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Period. There’s no other way to interpret that. Even worse, the threat was not clearly political or institutional. As I’ll discuss in a moment, those kinds of threats are sadly nothing new from Senate Democrats.”
McConnell hit the mark by tying Schumer’s rant to the general liberal Democratic hysteria over conservative judges. He suggested that the Senate Minority Leader was making a thuggish attempt to influence a Supreme Court decision with threats.
Schumer responded on the floor by admitting that perhaps he should not have used the words he did. He did not offer an apology but accused Republicans of distorting what he said. After all, Schumer noted, he is from Brooklyn and this is how people from there talk.
Most pundits do not think Schumer is going to receive any more consequences for his rant on the steps of the Supreme Court. He will not be expelled from the Senate or even receive a formal censure.
However, it should be noted in conclusion that Donald J. Trump was born and raised in Queens, another borough of New York City. If Schumer expects to get a pass for his intemperate language because he’s a New Yorker, will we never more hear yelps of outrage because of some turgid tweet the president offers?