Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) walked back the words he uttered in his Wednesday speech–in part, by noting he is from Brooklyn.
The New York lawmaker explained that people from Brooklyn use “strong language,” language he shouldn’t have used in this case.
“I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They did not come out the way I intended to,” he said. “I’m from Brooklyn. We use strong language.”
He said that in “no way” was he making a threat.
In case you missed it somehow, Schumer said that Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would “pay the price” if they decide to roll back abortion rights.
The Schumer speech happened on a day when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo. It is the first major abortion case to come before the court since President Donald Trump appointed Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the high court.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said to a crowd of pro-choice advocates affiliated with and supportive of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer went on to say that the “bottom line is very simple”: Trump and Senate Republicans who put Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court will be “gone in November.”
“We will stand with the American people. We will stand with American women,” Schumer said. “We will tell President Trump and Senate Republicans who have stacked the court with right-wing ideologues that you’re going to be gone in November and you will never be able to do what you are trying to do now ever, ever again.”
“You hear that over there on the far right? You’re going to be gone in November,” he said.
Chief Justice John Roberts released a rare statement on Wednesday afternoon condemning Schumer’s “threatening” words as “dangerous,” sparking criticism from the left that Roberts was being selectively outraged.
NEW: Chief Justice Roberts chastises Schumer for "threatening" statements about Kavanaugh, Gorsuch. pic.twitter.com/jQWHJTfpks
— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) March 4, 2020
Schumer’s Thursday comments differed a little from a Wednesday statement by his spokesman Justin Goodman.
“Sen. Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” Goodman said. “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 Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.”
But Schumer still said Thursday that Republicans were “manufacturing outrage.”
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called out Schumer on the Senate floor.
Contrary to what the Democratic Leader has tried to claim, he very clearly was not addressing Republican lawmakers. The minority leader of the United States Senate threatened two associate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Period. pic.twitter.com/DZJb5qW7yO
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 5, 2020
[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]