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Should Schumer Face Censure for Threatening Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh?

Should Schumer Face Censure for Threatening Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh?

“Schumer’s threats to Gorsuch & Kavanaugh is part of pattern of Democrat attacks on the #SupremeCourt” — Sen. Hawley

Last week at a pro-abortion rally, Senate Majority Leader Schumer verbally threatened Supreme Court Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch saying, “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!” in reference to abortion.

When Chief Justice Roberts responded  calling Schumer’s comments “inappropriate” and “dangerous.” Schumer’s office then doubled down, accusing Justice Roberts of “following the right wing.”

Schumer later issued a non-pology on the Senate floor, blamed his “harsh language” from his Brooklyn upbringing. It was weaksauce on a good day.

Now, some Republican lawmakers and conservative leaders want Schumer censured for his threats.

Sen. Hawley introduced a resolution which had the backing of 14 other Republican Senators, calling for Schumer to be censured. From Fox News:

Hawley’s resolution, which was co-sponsored by 14 senators, called for Schumer to be censured for the comments, which it describes as “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.'”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to condemn Schumer’s comments. “There is nothing to call this except a threat,” McConnell said, claiming that Schumer was “trying to gaslight the entire country” by claiming that he was only addressing Republican lawmakers.

Schumer responded by claiming he was “passionate” and “angry” about the threat towards women’s ability to get abortions that the court case represented. He did not apologize to the justices, but admitted that he “should not have used the words I used,” and that “they didn’t come out the way I intended to.”

Hawley was not swayed by this, tweeting that Schumer was following a recent trend of Democrats threatening the Supreme Court. A group of Democratic senators in August filed a brief in a gun control case in which they accused the Supreme Court of being “not well” and warning that if it does not “heal itself,” it could be “restructured.” This was taken as a warning that the Democrats would attempt to pack the court by increasing the number of justices and loading the bench with liberals once a Democrat is back in the White House.

“Schumer’s threats to Gorsuch & Kavanaugh is part of pattern of Democrat attacks on the #SupremeCourt,” Hawley said. “Dems have threatened to pack it; now they’re threatening Justices personally. This is insane. It’s wrong. Schumer should be censured.

Conservative leaders have also called for censure:

Dozens of well-known conservative leaders signed a letter released Monday that calls for the censure of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after the New York Democrat allegedly threatened Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch last week.

Those who signed the letter include former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint; former Ronald Reagan campaign adviser Ed Rollins; Republican Attorneys General Association Chairman and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, among others.

The open letter to U.S. senators, organized by the pro-Trump Article III Project, which is dedicated to helping get the president’s judicial nominees confirmed, says that Schumer’s previous apology for the remarks was insufficient and cites Chief Justice John Roberts’ statement which called Schumer’s remarks “not only inappropriate” but “dangerous.” It calls for the Senate to censure him.

But should Republicans censure Schumer?

On the one hand, there’s the fatigue that comes with three years of a political witch hunt for naught, and the impeachment sideshow circus, both of which inflicted substantial damage to Democrats. Which provides a case to leave it alone. Schumer overstepped. He knows it. He was slapped down by Justice Roberts. He was forced to (kind of) recant. And his actions simply prove that Democrats have become so hyper-partisan, their rhetoric is truly out of control. Informed voters can and will see as much.

Buuuuut, threatening justices is no laughing matter. It’s quite serious and eclipses political rhetoric. Neither is saying “I’m from Brooklyn” a sufficient defense. It’s unfortunate that language has been so obliterated by outrage culture. When everything is outrageous, nothing is outrageous. So while feigning outrage might score points in broad culture desperate to secure the right to murder the unborn (Schumer’s immediate audience in this incident), his threats out to be taken seriously, culture aside. Failure to penalize legitimate threats of violence risks normalizing and green lighting even more threats of violence.

TL;DR: Heck yes.


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rabid wombat | March 10, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Sure…more proof of Schumer’s transgressions than Trump’s…?

Of course he should be censured, but how much effect will it have? Will it enable him to suffer some kind of penalty? Too many of our congressional scofflaws won’t care.

    Milhouse in reply to DSHornet. | March 10, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    No, a censure carries no penalty. He will ignore it. But it should be done anyway because it’s the right thing to do.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to DSHornet. | March 10, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Schumer should be in JAIL for his obvious threats!

      There is a fdederal law that makes it illegal to threaten judges while on the Supreme Court grounds. Schumer obviously violated it.

      Let’s say you or I went to the Senate office building and said the EXACT same words as Schumer, except replace his name for the justices. What would happen?


        Milhouse in reply to JOHN B. | March 11, 2020 at 12:09 pm

        Nothing would happen. There is no such law, and the first amendment is the supreme law of the land.

          It’s irresponsible to allow this guy to comment here with such an ignorant remark without nonlawyer readers hearing the actual rule of law: it’s called ‘incitement’ and such remarks are not necessarily protected by the First Amendment.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | March 11, 2020 at 8:44 pm

          No, it is not called incitement. Incitement is speech that is both (1) subjectively intended and (2) objectively likely to cause its audience to (3) immediately commit a crime. All three of those elements are necessary, or else it is protected speech. Essentially incitement turns its audience into zombies, temporarily incapable of reasoning for themselves, and acting solely on the speaker’s orders.

          Merely persuading people that they ought to commit a crime is advocacy, which is absolutely 100% protected. Advocacy, of any position whatsoever, even to take up arms against the USA, cannot be a crime.

    Dr P in reply to DSHornet. | March 11, 2020 at 8:19 am

    send the resolution to the Ethics Committee
    – have him STEP DOWN while they consider it
    – the real punishment should be expulsion

    neither will happen
    – but put him on the defensive
    – let him learn the process is the punishment

    In the meantime,
    – every GOP candidate for every office
    – must demand that their democrat opponent
    – to denounce him or face the electoral consequences

He should be expelled from the Senate. At a minimum. This is very dangerous territory, not only towards the direct physical safety of the Justices, it is 3rd world, banana republic tin pot dictator crap that has no place in the United States of America. None.

    Milhouse in reply to CKYoung. | March 10, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Expelling him would take a 2/3 vote and that’s not going to happen. But even if it did Cuomo would probably appoint him to the vacancy, and/or the people would reelect him, and there would be nothing further that could be done.

    Censure carries no penalty beyond the inherent shame of it, but it’s the right thing to do.

    Milhouse in reply to CKYoung. | March 10, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    I don’t think he threatened their physical safety. He was not specific, but I think the most reasonable interpretation that he meant either that a future D congress would impeach and remove them, or that there would be a grassroots movement to condemn them. Both would be empty threats, and Schumer knew it, but he said it to please the crowd.

      mrtea in reply to Milhouse. | March 10, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      The threat of ‘doxxing’ and thugs showing up at your door is real from the left.

        Milhouse in reply to mrtea. | March 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm

        The threat of ‘doxxing’ and thugs showing up at your door is real, but it is not and cannot be a crime. It’s protected speech. See Claiborne.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | March 11, 2020 at 12:01 am

      Don’t make excuses for the commies. Their intention is always violence and death to gain or maintain power. Schumer is no different than Stalin other than we keep him in check.

        Milhouse in reply to Barry. | March 11, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        Don’t be making things up with no evidence. Schumer is scum, but it’s simply not reasonable to assume he was threatening violence.

        However, even if he was it would be protected speech. Even under the very worst reading you can come up with, he was not threatening to beat them up himself, or to send anyone to beat them up, and no reasonable person would have understood him to have a serious intent of doing so. Threatening someone that “if you do this, a lot of people will be angry and some of them might beat you up” is protected speech.

      CKYoung in reply to Milhouse. | March 11, 2020 at 2:18 am

      I don’t know know you well enough to make any judgments about you Milhouse, so please don’t take any of what I say personally. The idea that schumer meant no real harm to anyone is extremely naive at best. The notion that this wasn’t a personal threat to two specific justices ignores the key point that schumer NAMED TWO JUSTICES. He did NOT have to do that. He could have crafted his threat in broad terms aimed at all Justices (or five of them but not by name). In 2017, a deranged bernie bro shot up a Republican baseball team practice. I blame the criminal, not bernie sanders. Even though bernie spewed white hot, anti PDJT/GOP rhetoric on a regular basis, it was general enough to be typical leftist BS. Now if bernie would have named specific individuals and those exact individuals were targeted, that’s a whole different story. What schumer was doing here is a form of grooming. He publicly whispered into the ears of many demented individuals. He did this hoping he would trigger one of these demented leftist individuals into action. I’m not sure if you’ve spent any actual time at the user level of the criminal justice system, but if you have, I expect you would’ve encountered this technique and it’s variants along the way.

        Milhouse in reply to CKYoung. | March 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

        I never suggested that it wasn’t a personal threat to two specific justices. It clearly was. But the threat was not specific, and it’s not reasonable to assume he meant there would be violence. Far more likely he was threatening them with impeachment, inquiries, or public outrage.

        But even if he had been threatening them that if they made the wrong decision some people would be so angry they’d resort to violence, that would be protected speech.

        You seem to be suggesting he was actually inciting people in his audience at that moment to use violence. First of all, there’s just no basis for such an inference. But further, there are two fatal flaws: first, he conditioned it on their making the wrong decisions. And second, any violence that resulted would not be immediate. That makes it not incitement.

        And no, even if Sanders had specifically condemned Scalise, that would not make him legally responsible for the shooting.

      Dear Non-lawyer Readers,

      To understand whether schumer’s remarks are protected by the First Amendment, read for yourself:

      Incitement to Imminent Lawless Action:

      “In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brandenburg v. Ohio that “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

      “In its 1973 ruling Hess v. Indiana, the Supreme Court clarified what constitutes imminent lawless action. The Supreme Court said that the speech involved in Hess, “was not directed to any person or group of persons” therefore “it cannot be said that [the speaker] was advocating, in the normal sense, any action.” The Court also said that “since there was no evidence, or rational inference from the import of the language, that [the speaker’s] words were intended to produce, and likely to produce, imminent disorder, those words could not be punished by the State on the ground that they had a ‘tendency to lead to violence.’”

      “The Supreme Court has said that for speech to lose First Amendment protection, it must be directed at a specific person or group and it must be a direct call to commit immediate lawless action. The time element is critical. The Court wrote that “advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time … is not sufficient to permit the State to punish Hess’ speech.” In addition, there must be an expectation that the speech will in fact lead to lawless action.”

      The last paragraph certainly does make an argument that schumer committed a crime.

        The last paragraph certainly does make an argument that schumer committed a crime.

        You idiot. No, it does not. Even if you could prove, objectively and beyond reasonable doubt, that Schumer subjectively intended his speech to cause people to commit a crime (and in fact you cannot do any such thing), that is only one of the necessary elements. The speech must also be objectively likely to do so, and most importantly as you yourself cited the intended and likely effect must be imminent. There is absolutely no way that Schumer intended his audience to immediately go and find Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and beat them up, nor was it at all likely that they would do so, as in fact we saw that none of them did so. Therefore your own quote proves that you’re deliberately lying.

      thelip95032 in reply to Milhouse. | March 12, 2020 at 12:57 am

      Milhouse -> “I don’t think he threatened their physical safety. He was not specific”

      Schumer -> You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said while the justices were hearing arguments in a critical Louisiana abortion case. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

      me -> most people would say this was a specific threat but from reading this forum I have learned that trying to pursuing this would be like having a discussion with Bill Clinton about what the meaning of the word “is” is.

At this point, what difference does it make? It won’t even get a brief mention on the nightly news if he does — it’s wall-to-wall coronavirus. Even the election has been shoved to the side.

He won’t be expelled — that takes 2/3 of the Senate. A censure vote would at least have the benefit of getting the senators on the record, I guess.

Of course he should be censured. It is long past time to rein in the calls for violence by the Democrats. They are trying to get someone killed.

He should be censured. He should also be ashamed. If only both were likely.

    chocopot in reply to McGehee. | March 11, 2020 at 8:21 am

    If he were capable of shame, he wouldn’t be a member of the Communist – er, I mean Democrat – Party.

Censure is appropriate, expulsion is not. However I doubt the Senate can muster the energy to approve a motion to censure SEN Schumer and we will have established a new, lowered level of what behavior and language constitutes inappropriate behavior. Thank the d for yet another instance of institutional decline. Be sure to cite this example when, in the future, they inevitably complain about a r adhering to the new standard.

Schumer has lost all sense of decorum. Pelsosi has never had any. She is the drunken slob she always was, just more so.

    Massinsanity in reply to puhiawa. | March 10, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    He has never had any. My earliest recollection of Schumer was during the House investigation in the military assault on civilians at Waco. His performance was an absolute disgrace. Something I have never forgotten and I have loathed him since then.

Censure?!? This fool/tool should be flogged! He has a the sense God gave a tree.

Indeed, Schumer should not only be censored and rebuked for his attempted obstruction of justice but he should also be referred for disbarment and removed from the Senate.

Why are we discussing this? Nothing is going to happen to Schumer. What I think just doesn’t matter.

Dantzig93101 | March 10, 2020 at 7:23 pm

I’m not a lawyer, but mere censure seems like a pretty weak response to Mr. Schumer’s on-going sedition. Revolutionaries, like bullies, see weakness as a green light for more attacks.

    George_Kaplan in reply to Dantzig93101. | March 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Censure would be the Senate condemning Schumerthe Democrats attempt to politicise the Supreme Court. Republicans just need to push the notion that SCOTUS’ sole allegiance should be to the Constitution. Obviously that ideal isn’t met – RBG, Sotomayor etc, but why not try to do better?

      healthguyfsu in reply to George_Kaplan. | March 10, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      When you stand on principle and your opposition stands on “by any means necessary”, you tend to get swept away in the modern political landscape.

      Luckily, the Constitution has given the executive and judicial branches all the means they require to do what is just. They just have to do it.

        artichoke in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 11, 2020 at 3:27 am

        Expecting that you can’t / won’t be punished also encourages such getting carried away. Time to break that illusion, for future reference.

2smartforlibs | March 10, 2020 at 7:34 pm

He should face more than that. He pushed Titel 18 USC 115 further than the average American would have gotten away with.

He should resign for the good of the party and the country.
Hell, all the dems should resign for being arrogant assholes.

18 USC 1503. I’m not a lawyer, but didn’t he break the law? He shouldn’t be censured, he should be arrested and tried in a court of law.

The fatigue argument is irrelevant. A lot of Republicans are fatigued by the Democrats getting away with anything and everything and want to punch back. It’s only fair.

It would also be helpful in the upcoming election, I think. Nobody can really say Schumer is being unfairly treated here. Therefore it should be done.

Did I misread the opening paragraph of the story “… Senate Majority Leader Schumer …”?

In any case, censure is the least Chuck You Scuumer should get.

Yes, you censure him and get it on record. When he does it again you now have legal evidence of prior bad behavior.

What does “Censure” actually do? It’s toothless. It’s telling him “Bad Boy!” without even making him go to his room.

It’s more political Kabuki theater. Why anyone outside of Washington even pretends that it means anything is beyond me.

He overtly and publicly threatened two members of the Supreme Court *by name* to try to influence a ruling. He should be impeached and removed from office if not prosecuted. Anything short of that is meaningless, and that will never happen…so why do we bother getting all worked up about it?

Tilting at windmills.

    Milhouse in reply to Sailorcurt. | March 11, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    He can’t be impeached or prosecuted. 2/3 of the senate could vote to expel him, but there’s no possibility of that happening, and in any case he’d be right back and could not be expelled again for the same offense. Censure is the only option available, even though it would be water off a duck’s back.

When are there going to be any CONSEQUENCES for appalling behavior?
Schumer should be done.

This travesty has to stop ——-> as Hunter Biden gives the finger to the courts and says he won’t be deposed until AFTER the election?

Doesn’t anyone have a spine to stand up to these disgusting cretins?

When are there going to be any CONSEQUENCES for appalling behavior?
Schumer should be done.

This travesty has to stop ——-> as Hunter Biden gives the finger to the courts and says he won’t be deposed until AFTER the election?

Doesn’t anyone have a spine to stand up to these disgusting cretins?

Barry Soetoro | March 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Schemer’s threats were felonious. He needs to be prosecuted and imprisoned.