Editor’s update: Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement Wednesday condemning Chuck Schumer’s remarks, saying: “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.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned two Supreme Court justices Wednesday that they “have released the whirlwind” and that they “will pay the price,” adding that they “won’t know what hit you” if they rule the wrong way.
Schumer spoke Wednesday at a rally in front of the United States Supreme Court where justices heard June Medical Services v. Russo, a case in which an abortion provider challenges a 2014 Louisiana state law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility.
Opponents say the law would hinder and potentially eliminate abortion access in Louisiana. Louisiana lawmakers and pro-life activists maintain that the law protects women from unsanitary or unsafe abortion clinic practices.
Both pro-abortion and pro-life activists gathered Wednesday at the Washington, D.C. rally where the New York senator warned Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch against taking away “fundamental rights” related to abortion.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch,” Schumer said, video from the event shows, “and 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,” he added.
The senator’s comments referenced the political price Republicans “will pay for putting them on the court” as well as “a warning that the justices will unleash major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Let me ask you, my friends, are we going to let Republicans undo a woman’s right to choose?” Schumer asked the crowd. “Are we going to stay quiet as they try to turn back the clock? Are we going to give up or waver when things get tough?”
The pro-abortion activists in the crowd responded to each of these questions with a resounding “No.”
“No, we are going to stand together in one voice and take a stand on behalf of women and families throughout the country,” Schumer said. “We are going to stand against all these attempts to restrict a woman’s right to choose and we will win.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., slammed Schumer, saying that Schumer had threatened Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
“The Democratic Party is so radicalized on abortion politics that today Chuck Schumer threatened Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh if they didn’t strike down a simple, commonsense, pro-woman law that simply says that abortion doctors need to have admission privileges at a local hospital,” Sasse said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Nebraska senator pointed out that if a Republican threatened Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “it would be the biggest story not just in Washington but all across America.”
“But, Chuck Schumer’s bully tactics aren’t getting much air time right now because there’s so many people in bed with his defense of abortion and his attack on an independent judiciary,” Sasse added. “These bullying tactics need to stop.”
The case marks the first time the Supreme Court has reviewed an abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court justice’s confirmation was marked by anxiety from the pro-abortion movement that Kavanaugh would rule favorably for pro-life policies.
He was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, whose lawyer Debra Katz said Ford’s accusations were motivated by putting “an asterisk next to” Kavanaugh’s name before “he takes a scalpel” to Roe v. Wade.
“In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court,” Katz says in a video exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation in September 2019.
“He will always have an asterisk next to his name,” Katz continues. “When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”
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