Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Wednesday announced plans to censure Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for threatening conservative Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
“Now @chuckschumer is threatening Supreme Court Justices personally, to the point of implying their physical safety is endangered. Disgusting, shameful, and frankly, WEAK,” Hawley wrote on social media. “I would call on Schumer to apologize, but we all know he has no shame. So tomorrow I will introduce a motion to censure Schumer for his pathetic attempt at intimidation of #SupremeCourt.”
I would call on Schumer to apologize, but we all know he has no shame. So tomorrow I will introduce a motion to censure Schumer for his pathetic attempt at intimidation of #SupremeCourt
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 5, 2020
During a Wednesday afternoon pro-life rally, Schumer warned in a fiery speech outside the Supreme Court that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will “pay the price” if they vote against pro-choice advocates in a case challenging Louisiana’s abortion law. The case could lead to the bench revisiting protections that were born out of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.
“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,” Schumer said. “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’s comments drew blowback from Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who said the Senate Minority Leader should face immediate repercussions.
“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!” the president tweeted, sharing a video clip of Schumer’s remarks posted by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
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! https://t.co/WqQUbyzaJU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2020
In a rare statement, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts also rebuked Schumer’s threat, calling it both “inappropriate” and “dangerous” for a top lawmaker to utter. “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,” Roberts said.
Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Schumer, hit back at Roberts by accusing him of adopting the “right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation” of the comment, “while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg last week.” The spokesman then stated that Roberts’ condemnation shows that he does “not just call balls and strikes.”
Last week, President Donald Trump argued Sotomayor and Ginsburg should recuse themselves from cases involving his administration due to their past negative remarks about him and his policies. “I just don’t know how they can not recuse themselves for anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related,” he stated at the time.