Senator Schumer needs to be censured for threatening Supreme Court Justices

 

 

By Michael Hernandez 

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) needs to be censured for threatening Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Cavanaugh at a pro-choice demonstration yesterday hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Censoring is a condemnation or denouncement that does not remove a Senator from office—but if Senator Schumer is censored he would become only the 10th U.S. Senator censured in the history of the nation.  Even the moderate Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has called to censure Senator Schumer.

During a Wednesday afternoon 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 a Louisiana abortion law. The case could lead to the court 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,” warned Schumer. “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.”

These words from Senator Schumer are a threat of harm and cannot be perceived in any other manner.

Senator Schumer’s words generated a rare response from Chief Justice John Roberts who 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.”

President Donald J. Trump also condemned Schumer on Twitter:  “This is a direct and dangerous threat to the U.S. Supreme Court by Schumer.  If a Rebublican did this, he or she would be arrested, or impeached.  Serious action MUST be taken NOW!”

Meanwhile, Senator Schumer did not apologize or take back his words.  Instead he said:  “I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I never, never would do such a thing, and Leader McConnell knows that. And Republicans who were busy manufacturing outrage over these comments know that, too,” said Senator Schumer in a Senate floor speech today.

“Of course I didn’t intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise. I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language,”    

Unfortunately, Senator Schumer’s defiance and non-apology should be seen for what it is—despicable behavior from the minority leader of the U.S. Senate.  The real issue is not Republicans attacking him; but the mainstream media rebuking his political comments as seen by both CNN senior network political analyst John Avlon and the network’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Avlon slammed the Senate minority leader, saying his remarks “crossed the line” while Toobin said his remarks were “inappropriate” and “did sound like a physical threat.”

Fox business television anchor Lou Dobbs called the remarks “a new low for a party of hate.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday tore into Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for threatening Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, calling his remarks “unhinged” and “shameful.”

“The distinguished men and women of the Supreme Court do not and must not serve at the pleasure of angry partisans,” he continued. “They do not need to pay any mind to unhinged threats, as shameful as they may be.

“I would suggest that my Democratic colleagues spend less time trying to threaten impartial judges, and more time coming up with ideas that are actually constitutional.” https://abcn.ws/2TrBr1K 

“When the Democratic leader of the Senate travels to the workplace in front of the Supreme Court building and threatens to incite violence…this is a matter of deadly seriousness,” said McConnell referring to the “attempted mass murder” of Republican Congressional members at a softball practice field less than three years ago.

On Wednesday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) condemned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) remarks attacking Supreme Court Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

“You can only be young once, but you can always be immature,” he said. “I’m very disappointed in Senator Schumer’s comments. They were juvenile. They were infantile. They were sophomoric. They were clearly a threat. I don’t know whether he meant impeachment or court-packing or something else. But Senator Schumer should apologize. His comments were beneath him and the high office that he holds. When you threaten Supreme Court Justices, you threaten the fair administration of justice.”

Kennedy maintained Schumer was within the boundaries of criticizing the high court but called on him to apologize for any insinuation of a threat.  “There’s nothing wrong with a public official, criticizing an opinion by the United States Supreme Court,” Kennedy continued. “There’s nothing wrong in appropriate cases for a public official or private individual if he or she thinks there is bias, to ask for recusal. But threats, ‘you’ll never know what hit you, you’ll pay the price, you will reap the whirlwind,’ those threats are inappropriate, any threats are inappropriate. And I don’t know what Senator Schumer meant by the threats. I don’t know whether he was talking about impeaching Justice Gorsuch or Justice Kavanaugh. I don’t know whether he was talking about packing the court, but it was not appropriate. And, and it’s beneath Senator Schumer, and I hope he apologizes.”

Senator Schumer in January 2017 made similar comments to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that were highly critical of President-elect Donald J. Trump:  He said Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities.  “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.  So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Yes, this time, Senator Schmer crossed the line and needs to be censored.   The last four U.S. Senators to be censored were:  Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) in 1954; Senator Thomas J. Dodd (D-CN) in 1967; Senator Herman Talmadge (D-GA) in 1979; and Senator David Durenberger (R-MN) in 1990.

You are next Senator Chuck Schumer.  U.S. Senators do your job!  Censor Senator Schumer.

Editor’s Note: This is an opinion article.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].


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