Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday reminded millions of Americans why there’s no doubt in their minds that they will vote to re-elect President Donald Trump in 2020. Put another way, they were reminded why they cannot vote for a Democrat under any circumstance.
In a Friday press release, a Catholic pro-life organization said (while linking to a Fox News op-ed that said this is “why we need to re-elect Trump”) that Schumer incited violence against conservative Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
American Life League (ALL) President Judie Brown said that Schumer did more than incite violence: he “played the role of Satan perfectly.”
“Chuck Schumer played the role of Satan perfectly when he uttered these vile words: ‘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,” Brown said. “Such hatred toward the truth that the act of abortion murders a human being—a member of the human family—must bring great joy to the devil’s heart. Shame on Schumer. Shame on this nation for allowing so many millions of innocent lives to go quietly to their graves.”
The Schumer speech happened outside of the Supreme Court on a day when the SCOTUS 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 Trump appointed Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the high court.
Schumer went on to say in the speech that the bottom line is very simple: there would be a political price to pay. He said that 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.”
Schumer was widely condemned by conservative lawyers–even by Chief Justice John Roberts–for singling out the justices by name and telling them that they would “pay the price” for voting to roll back abortion rights in America.
Former Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger, a partner at the McGuireWoods LLP law firm, said Schumer was “completely out of line.”
“Any statements that can be understood to threaten judges personally are completely out of line. Equally offensive are statements that can appear to be designed to intimidate judges in deciding questions of the law,” he said in a statement obtained by Law&Crime. “We have to be better than that in a civil society.”
Former DOJ and White House lawyer David Rivkin, a constitutional law and appellate attorney, said Schumer’s statement was “outrageous” and “amounts to a threat against sitting Supreme Court Justices.”
“It is designed to intimidate them. This behavior cannot be countenanced. Indeed, it has to be condemned as unconstitutional conduct,” Rivkin also said in statement.
And Republican Senators want to see Schumer censured.
Schumer did say on Thursday that he shouldn’t have said what he did and that the words came out wrong.
“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.
Anti-Trump attorney George Conway wrote that the Schumer’s walk-back/apology wasn’t enough.
“Those were threats, pure and simple,” he said.
Conway said the president’s bad behavior and refusal to apologize for anything–ever–is no excuse for Schumer, a U.S. senator who should know better, to act Trumpian:
To his credit, Schumer walked back his intemperate remarks. “I shouldn’t have used the words I did,” he said on the Senate floor Thursday. That’s a start, but he made no mention of the troubling statement his spokesman issued Wednesday that attacked Roberts: “For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Senator Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg last week, shows Roberts does not just call balls and strikes.”
This attack on Roberts engaged in misleading whataboutism and false equivalence — and invoked Trump’s bad behavior to justify Schumer’s behavior, which was worse than Trump’s. The president’s recent demands for Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor to recuse themselves in all “Trump matters,” were, as I argued here, dumb, baseless and contemptuous of the rule of law. But they weren’t threatening. Indeed, since Trump could theoretically make a motion to recuse, and thus present the issue to the individual justices, it would have been inappropriate for Roberts to respond. And given how Trump didn’t and won’t back up his words with such a motion, his remarks didn’t deserve a response.
Earlier in 2020, President Trump made a point to become the first president to go to the March for Life in person.
[Image via Twitter screengrab]