Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) threatened two Supreme Court Justices if they didn’t rule his way on a Louisiana law requiring doctors to have hospital admission privileges as a prerequisite to doing abortions. (The case actually has little to do with abortions; it concerns whether third parties—doctors here—can sue on behalf of others, especially when those others have suffered no harm from the matter.)
Schumer stood on the steps the Supreme Court building in front of a noisy protest crowd and, pointing back at the Supreme Court building, said [the quote below starts at about 0:45],
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.
The lack of “Justice” honorific might seem merely rude on Schumer’s part, but he omitted it to emphasize the directness and seriousness of his threat. The smirk on his face as he took in the crowd’s noisy approval illustrates the matter, too.
Schumer, of course, denied through his spokesman (apparently he didn’t have the courage to speak directly), that he was threatening the Justices, insisting that he was talking political retribution for Republican politicians. The video at the link demonstrates the lie of that. Schumer, in one paragraph of his speech was clearly addressing—facing, pointing at, calling by name—two Justices. It wasn’t until the next paragraph that he addressed—facing his crowd, no pointing, no Republican addressed by name (not even his chiefest opponent, the Senate Majority Leader so instrumental in getting those Justices confirmed)—Republican politicians.
On the floor of the Senate Thursday, Schumer doubled down on his threat. First, he lied about making a threat; his words weren’t intended that way, he claimed. He’s from Brooklyn and Brooklynites speak in strong language, he said—as if being his habit makes it all right. Then he tried to downplay his words by insisting that Republicans are creating the situation with their politics and with their “manufactured outrage” over Schumer’s remarks.
Then Schumer, still on the floor of the Senate at the end of his doubling down, refused even to apologize to the Justices. He just yielded back his time.
The Wall Street Journal, in its op-ed on the matter, mentioned President Donald Trump’s call for Justice recusal in emphasis of the seriousness of Schumer’s escalation of the Left’s political rhetoric:
Mr Trump recently tweeted that liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor should recuse themselves on cases involving his Administration.
It’s much more than this, though. Trump didn’t threaten Ginsburg and Sotomayor, individually or together, if they didn’t comply. Not tacitly, especially not as nakedly as Schumer threatened Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
The Secret Service gets after folks who threaten Presidents. Don’t Justices—on the same government hierarchical level as Presidents—deserve the same protection? Apparently not, when it’s a Progressive-Democrat who makes the threat.