Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has become embroiled in controversy after he directed a threatening statement to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh during an abortion rally outside the nation’s highest court on Wednesday — and a recent complaint against President Trump Schumer posted on Twitter is making matters worse for the Democratic senator.
“Over the last three years, women’s reproductive rights have come under attack in a way we haven’t seen in modern history,” Schumer declared at the Center for Reproductive Rights-hosted event on Wednesday. “Republican legislatures are waging a war on women, all women, and they’re taking away fundamental rights.”
The senator then directed his next comment specifically to Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, both Trump-nominated justices with pro-life records. “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,” Schumer warned.
The comment has earned strong rebuke from both the right and the left. But Schumer’s threat is even more egregious in light of his recent complaint about Trump.
In mid-February, Schumer condemned Trump for criticizing the federal judge presiding over the Roger Stone case, which Schumer described as an assault on “the independence of the federal judiciary.” Chief Justice John Roberts, Schumer demanded, must publicly rebuke the president for his criticism.
“With President Trump publicly attacking a judge: Now would be the time for Chief Justice Roberts to speak up,” Schumer tweeted along with video of himself listing his complaints against Trump on the Senate floor (h/t Twitchy). “Now would be the time for the Chief Justice to directly and specifically defend the independence of the federal judiciary. I hope he will see fit to, and do it today.”
With President Trump publicly attacking a judge:
Now would be the time for Chief Justice Roberts to speak up.
Now would be the time for the Chief Justice to directly and specifically defend the independence of the federal judiciary.
I hope he will see fit to, and do it today. pic.twitter.com/xspNKwRDys
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 13, 2020
But when Chief Justice Roberts defended the independence of the judiciary for a far more incendiary statement than Trump’s — the statement Wednesday by Schumer — the senator’s spokesman responded by lashing out at Roberts. The Chief Justice, Schumer’s camp suggested, was demonstrating political bias by rebuking him. The spokesman apparently forgot what Schumer himself said in the video he tweeted out in February: that Roberts has rebuked Trump in the past.
“This morning, Senator Schumer spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court while a case was being argued inside,” Roberts said in a statement Wednesday. “Senator Schumer referred to two Members of the Court by name and said he wanted to tell them that ‘You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.’ 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.”
Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman responded in a statement Wednesday: “For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg last week, shows that Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.”
Author: James Barrett