Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer condemned President Donald Trump for “attacking” a federal judge and called on Chief Justice John Roberts to speak up against Trump on Feb. 13. Less than a month later, Schumer threatened Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
“With President Trump publicly attacking a judge: Now would be the time for Chief Justice Roberts to speak up. Now would be the time for the Chief Justice to directly and specifically defend the independence of the federal judiciary. I hope he will see fit to, and do it today,” Schumer tweeted.
With President Trump publicly attacking a judge:
Now would be the time for Chief Justice Roberts to speak up.
Now would be the time for the Chief Justice to directly and specifically defend the independence of the federal judiciary.
I hope he will see fit to, and do it today. pic.twitter.com/xspNKwRDys
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 13, 2020
Just a few weeks later, Schumer threatened two Supreme Court justices by name at a pro-abortion rally in front of the Supreme Court.
“I want to tell you Neil Gorsuch, and you Brett Kavanaugh, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said at a pro-abortion rally. “You won’t know what hit you, if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Reporters should be asking every Senate Democrat:
Do you agree with your leader threatening Supreme Court Justices?
“I want to tell you Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch: You have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price!” – Chuck Schumer pic.twitter.com/jyAgpE9HVv
— Michael Ahrens (@michaelahrens) March 4, 2020
Roberts did stick up for the judiciary branch of the government, but not in the way Schumer had in mind. Instead of responding to the “attacks” by Trump, Roberts responded to Schumer’s threatening comments.
“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,” wrote Roberts. “All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor.”
BREAKING from Chief Justice Roberts: pic.twitter.com/qO5PuHgLjr
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) March 4, 2020
On the Senate floor Thursday morning, Schumer half-heartedly apologized for using threatening language.
“I should not have used the word I used yesterday,” Schumer said. “I’m from Brooklyn, we speak in strong language, I shouldn’t have use the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I would never do such a thing.”
He continued by saying his threats were aimed at the political consequences Trump, Republicans, and the Supreme Court would face if the court voted against pro-abortion legislation.
“My point was that there would be political consequences, political consequences, for President Trump and Senate Republicans if the Supreme Court, with the newly confirmed justices, stripped away a women’s right to choose. Of course I didn’t intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise,” Schumer said.