Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) threatened Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday. He declared during a pro-choice demonstration on the Supreme Court steps: “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.”
It was a shocking comment — but it was also not the first time Schumer has bullied the Supreme Court.
In 2010, shortly after the controversial Citizens United decision, then-President Barack Obama rebuked the members of the Supreme Court seated before him in the State of the Union:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. [Applause] I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. [Applause.] They should be decided by the American people.
Obama had distorted the case badly. The Justices were helpless to respond, but Justice Samuel Alito shook his head and mouthed the words, “Not true” — for which he was later roundly criticized by the media.
And behind the Justices, leaping to his feat to applaud Obama’s attack, was none other than Sen. Schumer, who despite his own Harvard legal training showed no deference to the courts at all.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts responded to Schumer’s attack: “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.”
For Schumer, such threats or attacks on the Court are not unusual or unprecedented — “inappropriate” and “dangerous” though they may be.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.