CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: Schumer Remarks ‘Inappropriate,’ ‘It Did Sound Like a Physical Threat’

Appearing Thursday on CNN’s New Day, the network’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin criticized Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) targeting Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, saying his remarks were “inappropriate” and “did sound like a physical threat.”

A partial transcript is as follows: 

JOHN BERMAN: “You will pay the price, you won’t know what hit you.” Those were the words, it seems to me, that set off the chief justice to respond with, “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.” What do we think?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: If you parse what Chuck Schumer said, it was wrong, it was inappropriate. It was not the way you should talk about the Supreme Court. Frankly, no one noticed what he said until Roberts intervened. But it was political hyperbole of the sort politicians shouldn’t engage in. What’s really unusual here is Roberts getting involved when Chuck Schumer is not exactly the American figure we think of who usually engages in nasty politics. That’s, of course, the president. Roberts have been almost entirely silent about the president.

It was inappropriate. It did sound like a physical threat. I think if you look at Chuck Schumer’s entire record, if you look at how he behaves, he does not threaten people physically. It was certainly a bad choice of words.



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