News & Politics

State AGs Condemn Schumer Threats, Demand Censure

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters as President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shifts to questions from senators, a pivotal juncture as Republicans lack the votes to block witnesses and face a potential setback in their hope of ending the trial with a quick acquittal, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

At least seven state attorneys general have condemned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for his threats against Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Many of them called for Schumer to be censured over his remarks.

On Wednesday, Schumer warned Gorsuch and Kavanaugh that “you will pay the price” if they rule that the State of Louisiana can require abortion clinics to meet certain health and safety standards in order to operate. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Chief Justice John Roberts condemned this threat, saying “threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous.” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman claimed that the senator was merely referring “to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court,” accusing Roberts of having misinterpreted Schumer’s remarks. However, the senator directly warned Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, not Senate Republicans.

“Senator Schumer should immediately apologize to Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kavanaugh, and the entire Supreme Court,” Attorney General Jeff Landry (R-La.) said in a statement. “Schumer’s threats were dangerous and divisive, something all reasonable people can agree upon. Governor John Bel Edwards should put politics aside and join me in calling for the Senator to apologize.” Edwards, a Democrat, should condemn these threats, regardless of party.

“Any person who professes to care about the rule of law and the impartiality of the judicial branch should roundly condemn [Schumer] for threatening two Supreme Court Justices,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R-W.V.) tweeted. “Schumer should be censured for his actions.”

A.G. Ken Paxton (R-Texas), called Schumer’s remarks “Unbelieveable.”

“For [Senator Schumer] to threaten members of [the Supreme Court]… It’s immoral, it’s despicable, and it’s appalling that a U.S. Senator would think it’s acceptable behavior,” Paxton tweeted.

“The United States Senate should censure Sen Schumer. He didn’t simply threaten two sitting Supreme Court Justices, he threatened the rule of law. Reprehensible,” A.G. Dave Yoest (R-Ohio) tweeted.

Attorney General Chris Carr (R-Ga.) quoted Justice Clarence Thomas, noting that Thomas grew up in Georgia.

“Justice Clarence Thomas from Georgia once said, ‘Washington, D.C., is broken in some ways. We have decided that rather than confront the disagreements and the differences of opinion, we’ll simply annihilate the person who disagrees with us.’ Today, Senator Schumer shamefully proved him right by verbally attacking and threatening Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh,” Carr wrote on Facebook.

“I am [in] full agreement with my AG colleagues,” Attorney General Sean Reyes (R-Utah) tweeted. Schumer “should be censured and set down for his dangerous and threatening remarks against the two honorable Supreme Court Justices.”

“We should all be disgusted that [Schumer] would attack Supreme Court Justices. This behavior is embarrassing and unethical,” A.G. Ashley Moody (R-Fla.) tweeted.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a censure resolution on Thursday. It has 15 cosponsors.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.