- The Washington Times
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Two key Republican senators on Thursday demanded Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer apologize for saying Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch would “pay a price” during a pro-abortion rally.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Mr. Schumer’s comments were “a shameless effort to bully our nation’s independent judiciary.”

“And yesterday those efforts took a dangerous and disturbing turn,” said Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican. “There is nothing to call this but a threat and there is absolutely no question [about] to whom it was directed.”

As the Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case about a Louisiana abortion law case, Mr. Schumer singled out the two Trump-appointed justices.

“I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price,” the New York Democrat said. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.

Mr. McConnell said the comments were clearly a personal threat against the two justices and publicly urged Mr. Schumer to apologize.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, also demanded Mr. Schumer apologize for his remarks.

“At best, it was an injection of partisan politics into the process that should be immune, at worst it was threat targeting two sitting members of the Supreme Court,” Mr. Grassley said. “Either way, I encourage my colleague to apologize to those Supreme Court justices and do it here on the floor.”

Mr. Schumer’s comments were widely panned by Mr. Trump and Republicans. Even Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts weighed in, issuing a rare statement calling the comments “dangerous” and “inappropriate.”

In a statement, a Schumer spokesman responded by accusing Justice Roberts of bias and said that “price” that justices will pay would be a political loss for Republicans.

“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,” the statement said.

But Mr. McConnell said Mr. Schumer’s explanation rang hollow.

“He very, very clearly was not addressing Republican lawmakers or anyone else,” Mr. McConnell said. “He literally directed the statement to the justices by name.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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