Because the mainstream news media has done everything in its power to ignore the fact that a Democratic Party leader threatened two sitting Supreme Court justices at an abortion rally last week, the fervor surrounding Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already died down. But Republicans in the Senate have not forgotten Schumer’s irresponsible, indefensible remarks, and they are pushing to have the New York Democrat censured.
Leading the cause is Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who has introduced an official resolution to have Schumer reprimanded by his colleagues. Dozens of top conservative leaders have signed on to a letter calling for the Senate to pass the measure.
“Of course Schumer’s attacks were ‘inappropriate’ and ‘wrong’! He should be CENSURED,” Hawley tweeted Friday.
In case you missed it (and if you mostly get your information from the nightly news, that’s not surprising), Schumer made the offensive remarks outside the Supreme Court last Wednesday. While the court was inside listening to opening arguments in a major abortion case out of Louisiana, Schumer was talking to gathered activists on the steps.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price!” Schumer warned. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
So outrageous was Schumer’s threat that it engendered a rare rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts, who said there was no place in politics for these “dangerous” comments. Democrats, however, have rallied around Schumer with a whataboutism defense that would make Putin proud: Trump has criticized the Supreme Court before, so what’s the difference? They seem oblivious to the idea that there’s a world of difference between calling on Sonia Sotomayor to recuse from a case and threatening Kavanaugh and Gorsuch with comments like, “you won’t know what hit you.”
In his resolution, Hawley said Schumer’s statement was “an attempt to unduly influence the judicial decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States and to undermine the vision of the founders of the United States of the ‘complete independence of the courts of justice.'”
Very few senators in U.S. history have been subject to this sort of official discipline, but we can’t think of any recent example of someone deserving it more than Schumer. A clear message needs to be sent to him and every other Democrat: This kind of threat will not be tolerated, even for a moment. Let this one go, and there’s no telling what will be next.