Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) threat to the Supreme Court continues to make waves.
Republican Kevin McCarthy (CA) told Fox News journalist Maria Bartiromo that Schumer was trying to “intimidate” the Supreme Court as it considers a high-profile abortion case, Fox News reported. Schumer has been widely criticized for warning justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh about a “price” to be paid if they ruled against abortion rights.
“He’s standing before the Supreme Court trying to influence the outcome in America,” McCarthy said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures. “In America we believe, we encourage the exchange of ideas not to the idea that you’re going to intimidate.”
McCarthy: Schumer trying to influence SCOTUS
At a pro-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court last week, Schumer warned in no uncertain terms that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh wouldn’t know “what hit [them]” and that they would pay some kind of “price” if they dared to rule in favor of protecting life. His threat came as the Supreme Court was hearing arguments in the first important abortion case since Donald Trump added the conservative judges to the bench.
“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. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer was widely criticized for the comments, with many saying he was trying to undermine the court’s political independence, but he excused himself by citing his Brooklyn roots. Bartiromo, who is also a Brooklyn native, asked McCarthy for his reaction. “By the way, I’m from Brooklyn. I have a problem with that. Is he saying that people from Brooklyn threaten Supreme Court justices?” Bartiromo said.
McCarthy said that Schumer wasn’t just threatening individual judges but trying to coerce an entire institution. He tied it together with a wider pattern of intolerance on the left and chastised Democratic leadership for tolerating it. “If I was a Democrat in the Senate, I would have changed my leadership if this was what was happening.” Watch below:
The case, June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, deals with a Louisiana law that is similar to a Texas one that was struck down in 2016, before the court pivoted to the right under Trump. Anthony Kennedy’s replacement by Kavanaugh in 2018 solidified a 5-4 conservative majority on the bench, alarming progressives and abortion rights advocates. The new case deals with a law that requires abortion clinics to be within a certain distance of hospitals where the abortion provider has admitting privileges; abortion advocates say it is explicitly designed to shutter abortion facilities.
In his defense, Schumer gave a half-hearted non-apology last week, saying that his comments were somehow misconstrued and that Republicans were stoking “outrage” disingenuously. “I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language. I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat,” he said. “I feel so deeply the anger of women all across America about Senate Republicans and the courts working hand in glove to take down Roe v. Wade.”
But his comments were extreme, even by the increasingly militant standards of the Democratic Party. Just how extreme they were was made clear when Chief Justice John Roberts sharply rebuked him: “Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts said.
President Donald Trump warned of “trouble ahead” for “Cryin’ Chuck” and slammed him for trying to influence the court’s decision.
Cryin’ Chuck Schumer said, “You will pay the price for this. You won’t know what HIT YOU.” That is far beyond simple rhetoric. That is a physical threat, or at least a threat that you better vote for us.” Trouble ahead!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2020
There’s nothing new about Schumer’s leftist attack: he just said the quiet part out loud.