Republican senators are suddenly concerned that “threatening statements can increase the dangers of violence against government officials” now that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has directed such statements at conservative Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
More than a dozen GOP senators are joining Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) push to denounce Schumer in the Senate. That denouncement is what is known as “censure.”
GOP MO Sen Hawley & 14 other GOP senators prep measure to censure Schumer. Says “threatening statements can increase the dangers of violence against government officials“
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 5, 2020
Hawley is sponsoring a measure to censure Schumer for his remarks at SCOTUS yesterday. Cosponsors: Mike Braun, Kevin Cramer, Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, Kelly Loeffler, Martha McSally, David Perdue, Ben Sasse, Rick Scott, Tim Scott, and Thom Tillis.
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) March 5, 2020
Per the Senate, on censure:
Less severe than expulsion, a censure (sometimes referred to as condemnation or denouncement) does not remove a senator from office. It is a formal statement of disapproval, however, that can have a powerful psychological effect on a member and his/her relationships in the Senate. In 1834, the Senate censured President Andrew Jackson – the first and only time the Senate censured a president. Since 1789 the Senate has censured nine of its members.
Schumer said earlier on Thursday that he shouldn’t have said, among other things, that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would “pay the price” if they voted to roll back abortion rights.
“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 on Wednesday outside of the Supreme Court. “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.”
Chief Justice John Roberts released a rare statement on Wednesday afternoon condemning Schumer’s “threatening” words as “dangerous” and “inappropriate,” sparking criticism from the left that Roberts was being selectively outraged (Roberts has rebuked President Donald Trump in the past).
The same criticism is currently being leveled at the Senate GOP.
These people have signed off on Trump's treats against whistleblowers, judges, and witnesses. https://t.co/w6UbxAMLRL
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) March 5, 2020
[Image via Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images]