Patterico's Pontifications

3/5/2020

Chuck Schumer To Supreme Court Justices: You Will Reap the Whirlwind

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:22 am



[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday Chuck Schumer came under fire for comments he directed at Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh as the Court listened to arguments being made in June Medical , which involves a Louisiana law requiring medical doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. Schumer made the seemingly prepared comments at a protest rally outside the Court:

“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,

Later in the day, Chief Justice Roberts rebuked Schumer, saying:

This morning, Senator Schumer spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court while a case was being argued inside. Senator Schumer referred to two Members of the Court by name and said he wanted to tell them that ‘You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.’ 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. All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”

Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman released a silly statement that doesn’t hold water because Schumer didn’t address his comments to “Senate Republicans” or Republican lawmakers. He specifically named Gorsuch and Kavanaugh:

“Women’s health care rights are at stake and Americans from every corner of the country are in anguish about what the court might do to them,” Goodman said in an emailed statement. “Sen. Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision.”

“For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes,” Goodman added.

Goodman was referencing comments made by President Trump:

Fuller comments were made by Trump at a press conference in India last month:

It’s very obvious, Justice Ginsburg should [recuse herself] because she went wild during the campaign when I was running. Perhaps she was for Hillary Clinton. I just don’t know how they cannot recuse themselves from anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related.

… He said Sotomayor is “trying to shame people with perhaps a different view.”

Reactions to Schumer’s attacks on the Justices and Chief Roberts’ rebuke ran the gamut. Here’s David Harsanyi at NRO:

…Schumer’s thuggish attack on Kavanaugh and Gorsuch is a transparent attempt to intimidate justices. And wow — a sitting senator threatening an independent judiciary. Surely the champions of norms and decency will be horrified by this development. When Donald Trump, rather absurdly, demanded that Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse themselves from “Trump-related” Supreme Court cases because of their partisan positions — and, yes Notorious RGB is openly partisan and anti-Trump — it was a major national story. In this case, I suspect we’re going to hear a lot about a general “coarsening” of discourse.

Whatever the case, this an unprecedented attack on a justice of the Supreme Court. And by unprecedented, I mean that you won’t be able to unearth a single instance in modern history of a member of Congress threatening a justice — by name, no less — for ruling against his wishes. Which is why, I imagine, Chief Justice John Roberts felt the need to release this statement

Here’s Dahlia Lathwick over at Slate, who, among other things, makes an embarrassing attempt to blame Kavanaugh for what Schumer, a grown man with agency, said:

If Schumer’s repudiated words sounded at all familiar to you, or to the chief justice, it might be because at his confirmation hearing, then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh turned to the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee and pledged as follows:

“Since my nomination in July, there’s been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything, to block my confirmation. You sowed the wind for decades to come. I fear that the whole country will reap the whirlwind.”

The upshot here is that Schumer didn’t necessarily start this fight and maybe the guy whose honor Roberts just jumped in to defend bears some responsibility for the threatening rhetoric.

This morning, Mitch McConnell blasted Schumer from the Senate floor, saying “there is nothing to call this except a threat”. Following McConnell’s rebuke, Schumer accused McConnell of “making a “glaring omission” by not mentioning that Schumer was speaking regarding a Supreme Court case that could impact women’s ability to get an abortion”. He also said that he chose the wrong words, and that he didn’t mean to threaten Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. And then he blamed his hometown:

“I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language.”

(Because Trump excusing his various attacks and smears of others with a dismissive I’m from Queens. We speak in strong language, would be readily accepted by Democrats, right? Trump supporters, sure, but Democrats? Give me a break…)

Absolutely this: If McConnell made this exact same speech about liberal justices on steps of the Supreme Court, every Republican in America would be asked to condemn it.

Schumer needs to be a big boy and own his words, apologize directly to Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and the Court for his implicit threat, and then just shut-up. Why do these goobers try to make their self-indulgent acts seem like some sort of noble cause, and then whine about being misunderstood when rightfully called out on it? Just grow the hell up. You’re nothing more than a professional politician manipulatively playing with people’s lives, and we are sick and tired of your damn refusal to take responsibility for your own word vomit.

Oh, and of course Trump had to weigh in too:

While Trump has inarguably been critical of Supreme Court Justices, and even angrily attacked a few of them, I can’t find where he has implicitly threatened anyone of them. If he has done so, let me know in the comments.

–Dana

57 Responses to “Chuck Schumer To Supreme Court Justices: You Will Reap the Whirlwind”

  1. I’ve posted the longer version of Schumer’s comments so that you can more accurately make an assessment about what he said.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  2. Apparently he apologized on the Senate floor while taking a swipe at McConnell but he was wholly out of line- you can’t un-ring a bell.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. Lawrence Hurley
    @lawrencehurley
    ·
    “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 in a statement
    __ _

    Chris Hayes
    @chrislhayes

    The supposed threat he’s quoting is literally almost verbatim what Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee!
    __ _

    Matt Walsh
    @MattWalshBlog

    Oh come on man. Kavanaugh said the country was suffering from what the Senate Judiciary Committee was doing. Schumer called out two people specifically by name and warned that they would pay a price and not know what hit them. How can you possibly equate the two?
    __ _

    Matt Walsh
    @MattWalshBlog
    ·
    A much better analogy would be if Kavanaugh called out two Dem senators by name and warned that they would “pay a price” and “not know what hit them” if they didn’t vote for confirm him. In that case @chrislhayes would have absolutely no hesitation in condemning it.
    _

    harkin (b64479)

  4. Kudos to Roberts, too; he is the only adult left in Washington.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. And, he mangled the quote:

    They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. — Hosea 8:7

    The Biblical metaphor means you did something wrong or immoral, and now face much worse consquences blowing back in your face.

    Comparing what Kavanaugh said to what Schumer said is the height of hypocrisy. Kavanaugh’s was not a threat, just an observation; Schumer’s was an implicit threat.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  6. “ Comparing what Kavanaugh said to what Schumer said is the height of hypocrisy.”
    _

    These are the same people who say 150k in Facebook ads bought an election for Putin and then later laughing that $500 milly barely secured Samoa for Bloomy.
    _

    harkin (b64479)

  7. “I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language.”

    Translation: What do you expect from New York sewer scum?

    nk (1d9030)

  8. This isn’t about Trump. Trump may have crossed a line in his criticisms of judges (particularly when referring to ethnicity), but he has never threatened a judge, and certainly not one he cad a case in front of.

    What this is about is line-drawing. Our political discourse has become so coarse that some see no limits on acceptable behavior. They make “jokes”, or films, about assassination. They bring crowds to opponents porches at 6AM. They stand on the courthouse steps and threaten judges with retribution for not seeing the law their way.

    Things that cannot go on, won’t. And shouldn’t.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. @7. Apparently you’ve never had to hail a cab in a rainstorm at 48th and 6th. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  10. Schumer’s non-apologetic semi-climbdown is about as much as I’d expect from the guy. It’s enough to move on.

    Paul Montagu (8497cf)

  11. Trump has never threatened a judge. Lets be quite clear about this. What Schumer said was a disgusting threat by the 3rd most powerful person in Congress. Including saying “They won’t know what hit them”. Trump called out Sotomayor and Ginsberg for their PUBLIC WORDS. Ginsberg insulted Trump in 2016, Sotomayor implied that the Conservatives were in the tank for Trump in a written opinion.

    Schumer’s spokesman then called Roberts a “Right-wing hack” when he called out Schumer for attacking the Conservative Justices.

    But look for the Bulwark Boys and Dispatch gang along with the usual French, Williamson, Never trumpers to hand-wave this off, say “both sides are to blame”, or make a perfunctory “we’ll never mention it again – but we have to say something” criticism.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  12. The closest I’ve been to New York City is JFK airport.

    nk (1d9030)

  13. It’s the Vast Right-Wind Conspiracy all over again. Poor Chuckie.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. It’s enough to move on.

    No, its NOT “time to move on”. The Liberal/Left NEVER Moves on, when its a Republcian or Conservative. Ever. You have nevertrumpers/Democrats STILL mentioning what Trump said/did 4 years ago.

    So, no we’re NOT moving on. That’s loser talk. Or Never trumper talk. but i repeat myself.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  15. Again, this proves once again the Liberal/left never respects the constitution, tradition, the law, “the rules” UNLESS it benefits them. They will however, play by Alinsky’s rules and make Repbublicans/Conservatives live up to their principles. IOW, all their outrage is FAKE. All that matters to them is winning.

    So the Right and Republicans needs to do one of two things. Either Quit playing little lord forteroy, and the “Good Loser” and act like the liberals/Demcorats do. OR – call them out and rub it in, and never let up, so that everyone knows what Fakes and Frauds they are.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  16. But look for the Bulwark Boys and Dispatch gang along with the usual French, Williamson, Never trumpers to hand-wave this off, say “both sides are to blame”, or make a perfunctory “we’ll never mention it again – but we have to say something” criticism.

    You just put up a link when any of that happens.

    Until then, it’s just another of your mindless lies.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  17. @12. The closest I’ve been to New York City is JFK airport.

    The closest I’ve been to Texas is DFW Airport.

    Touche!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. “all their outrage is FAKE”

    Oh the irony.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  19. Has the NYT moved on from Palin’s bullseye map yet?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  20. Added to the post:

    (Because Trump excusing his various attacks and smears of others with a dismissive I’m from Queens. We speak in strong language would be readily accepted by Democrats, right? Trump supporters, sure, but Democrats? Give me a break…)

    Dana (4fb37f)

  21. So, no we’re NOT moving on. That’s loser talk. Or Never trumper talk. but i repeat myself.

    Yep, we’re definitely in Bizarro TrumpWorld, where emotional grudge politics takes precedence over everything.

    Paul Montagu (8497cf)

  22. Ironic from supporters of a so-called President who is ONLY talk.

    nk (1d9030)

  23. Dang, I’ve stepped foot in parts of the so-called Metroplex, as well as Round Rock and Laredo, but can proudly say I’ve only bounced between terminals and customs at IAH.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  24. Shorter apologism:

    Schumer is worse than Trump, but not much worse.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. >>The closest I’ve been to New York City is JFK airport.

    >>The closest I’ve been to Texas is DFW Airport.

    Been to both states. Although I’ll never go to either again in August.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. The logic regarding Roberts:

    This is all fake outrage from Republicans. The Chief Justice’s outrage is also fake. Therefore Roberts is being partisan!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. The closest I’ve been to Texas is DFW Airport.

    And…like the wimmins tell me…brother, that’s close enough…

    None of that “touche” stuff either.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  28. Our political leaders reflect what we are as a people. We should all strive to be civil, courteous, and respectful to one another. If we do this long enough, then the politicians will step in line. If we allow ourselves to try to score points via sarcasm, we create a bad environment for all.

    Mark (2b8765)

  29. Schumer has since accused right wing Republicans and Chief Justice John Roberts of deliberately misrepresenting what he said.

    He said he was talking about the Republicans losing control of the Senate.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/us/roberts-schumer-supreme-court.html

    A spokesman for Mr. Schumer said the chief justice had engaged in a willful misrepresentation.

    “Senator Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grass-roots movement on the issue of reproductive rights,” the spokesman, Justin Goodman, said in a statement.

    “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 Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes,” he said.

    When that didn’t work, Senator Schumer went on the floor of the Senate and said his words didn’t come out right.

    Of course, all that Schumer was trying to do was…cause the Republicans to llose control of the Senate.

    Sammy Finkelman (9570ad)

  30. Even Chris Coumo was critizing Schumer last night, and rather harshly. He did segue into a criticism of Trump’s style, but circled back long enough to remark that if it’s bad when one side does it, it’s bad when the other side does it too.

    But when you’ve lost Chris Coumo.

    Kishnevi (c2a547)

  31. oh please, Chris is trying to clear decks for other people maybe even in the Cuomo line, Schumer unwittingley bought the first round of drinks for a lot of aspiring 2022 NY Senate candidates (Jeffries, AOC, Yang on one side, Stefanik, Zeldin, younger Trumps) in that regard.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  32. “For Justice Roberts to follow the right wing’s deliberate misinterpretation of what Sen. Schumer said, while remaining silent when President Trump attacked Justices [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg last week, shows Justice Roberts does not just call balls and strikes,” Goodman added.

    I don’t see what’s “Silly” about this. Its a lie, pure and simple.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  33. Remember Schumer’s from NYC. They use “strong language”.

    So what? Schumers not IN NYC, he’s in DC, and talking about the Supreme Court of the United States, not a Queens politician.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  34. Anyway, this will all be forgotten by tomorrow. As I stated before, the Senate R’s have no desire to fight the D’s about ANYTHING. They only time they fight is when the big donors pay them off. Plus, Mittens, and all the other secret Democrats in Republican Clothing, have no desire to fight their true friends.

    If it was Mitch McConnell this would be a week-long story, with an outraged Mitt Romney demanding censure and public, personal apology.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  35. The thing is, though Schumer didn’t really mean anything by his original statement except to try to get votes, volunteers and campaign contributions. Well, and maybe get support for packing the court. He;s totally politicizing the Supreme Court.

    The issue at hand is: Do abortion clinics have standing to sue for their potential customers? I am not clear what extra arguments this allows them to make.

    Sammy Finkelman (9570ad)

  36. Dana, you wrote:

    “….and then just shut-up….”

    When do politicians of any stripe do that?

    What Schumer said was indeed awful. But no one is surprised that he won’t really apologize, let alone even understand what he did wrong.

    Remember when Biden, talking to a Black audience, announced that Romney was going to “put y’all back in chains”?

    Sigh.

    Simon Jester (7b213b)

  37. Remember Schumer’s from NYC. They use “strong language”.

    I have your strong language right HERE, Senator.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. Even Chris Coumo was critizing Schumer last night, and rather harshly. He did segue into a criticism of Trump’s style, but circled back long enough to remark that if it’s bad when one side does it, it’s bad when the other side does it too.

    But when you’ve lost Chris Coumo.

    To me, the issue isn’t that Schumer criticized, or even attacked two Justices. It’s that he leveled an implicit threat directly to them. That should not be lumped in with criticism. While it is an attack, it is going much further than simply attacking someone. I don’t believe it’s an issue of style, either, given that Trump is also a New Yorker. Further, while Cuomo is right that it’s been when either side do it, that is not the case here. Trump did not make any kind threat to Sotomayer or Ginsburg. Schumer did.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  39. “He;s totally politicizing the Supreme Court.”

    Now do McConnell and Garland.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  40. “Garland” is such a sad whine. It was a cynical appointment. Not a single GOP Senator was interested in moving forward, and Obama knew that. He was a sure vote to re-scuttle the 2nd Amendment and that plays with Republicans like being against abortion plays to Schumer.

    Still, no one threatened Garland.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  41. To me, the issue isn’t that Schumer criticized, or even attacked two Justices. It’s that he leveled an implicit threat directly to them. That should not be lumped in with criticism.

    Yet it is. “Deceive, inveigle, obfuscate”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. “Still, no one threatened Garland”

    I never said anyone did, but let’s not clutch pearls about “politicizing the Supreme Court.”

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  43. @24. Schumer is worse than Trump, but not much worse.

    Brooklyn born vs., Queens born.

    A reality TeeVee event is born: Mark Burnett can Pput’em both alone on the corner of Fifth and 49th in a blizzard with one free cab on the street and see which one does the better tongue lashing to gets it– and which one shows the smarts to just take the subway.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. If it was Mitch McConnell this would be a week-long story, with an outraged Mitt Romney demanding censure and public, personal apology.

    Gosh, and I thought you slime people for lying…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  45. The left, which Chuck Schumer is a part of, keeps telling us what they are going to do if granted power. I believe them.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  46. “He’s totally politicizing the Supreme Court.”

    39. Davethulhu (fe4242) — 3/5/2020 @ 2:56 pm

    Now do McConnell and Garland.

    Appointments to teh court have become very politicized and not just in the issues.

    Schumer is treating them like they should make a political decision as to how to rule. Not even that they should take public opinion into account or anything. But that there will be some kind of retaliation if they rule one way. And like that one way is unreasonable.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  47. 40. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/5/2020 @ 3:27 pm

    “Garland” is such a sad whine. It was a cynical appointment. Not a single GOP Senator was interested in moving forward,

    Obama was hoping he was moderate enough to get Republican votes.

    Or else he wanted to take an appointment away from Hillary, figuring he might get confirmed in the lame duck session if Hilary Clinton was elected president.

    and Obama knew that. He was a sure vote to re-scuttle the 2nd Amendment and that plays with Republicans like being against abortion plays to Schumer.

    Is the Second amendment (Heller) so important?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  48. Is the Second amendment (Heller) so important?

    Very important to politicians who want gun-owners’ votes.

    nk (1d9030)

  49. Garland was not an attack on the Second Amendment. He was an attack on Republican Senators’ chances of reelection.

    nk (1d9030)

  50. I see that blowhard pot is flapping his lid at blowhard kettle. I shall clutch my pearls now.

    Back in reality land, Schumer was not actually threatening the judges, but what he said AND the way he said it were not appropriate and he needs to take the hit and for real apologize for it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  51. Back in reality land, Schumer was not actually threatening the judges

    Try standing outside a court room where your case is being heard, Nic, and saying this. Tell me how that goes for you.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  52. Back in reality land, Schumer was not actually threatening the judges, but what he said AND the way he said it were not appropriate and he needs to take the hit and for real apologize for it.

    Nope. What he needs is to be referred to the sitting DC federal grand jury by the US Attorney and have that grand jury decide whether he was threatening the justices.* That is The Rule of Law!

    *(The way some Reason commenters were referred to a grand jury by USDNY for comments they made on the innernuts about the judge who sentenced Silk Road.)

    nk (1d9030)

  53. @52 I don’t think anyone would pay that much attention if I was standing outside the courthouse shaking my fist in the general direction of it and yelling about reaping the whirlwind, except I would probably be stared at by random passers by and someone might ask me to leave. (this is not a thing I would do, as I do not like scenes).

    @53 Did they actually get indicted?!?

    Nic (896fdf)

  54. @53 Did they actually get indicted?!?

    Not that I know of.

    nk (1d9030)

  55. Again, this proves once again the Liberal/left never respects the constitution, tradition, the law, “the rules” UNLESS it benefits them. They will however, play by Alinsky’s rules and make Repbublicans/Conservatives live up to their principles. IOW, all their outrage is FAKE. All that matters to them is winning.

    So the Right and Republicans needs to do one of two things. Either Quit playing little lord forteroy, and the “Good Loser” and act like the liberals/Demcorats do. OR – call them out and rub it in, and never let up, so that everyone knows what Fakes and Frauds they are.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 3/5/2020 @ 10:08 am

    Step one: define your enemy hysterically
    Step two: advocate for copying the enemy
    Step three: blame all misconduct on the other side for ‘starting it’

    Both sides have zealots doing this, but the real issue is a lack of respect for the rule of law, as observed from the disgraceful Senate forgiveness of Trump’s obstruction of justice.

    Dustin (646336)

  56. the real issue is a lack of respect for the rule of law, as observed from the disgraceful Senate forgiveness of Trump’s obstruction of justice.

    A perfect example of “step three.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3023 secs.