Chuck Schumer’s Supreme Court Fail
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case surrounding a Louisiana abortion law and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has some opinions.
Speaking to a group of demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court, Schumer declared, “I want to tell you [Neil] Gorsuch. I want to tell you [Brett] 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.”
The idea of a sitting senator threatening two justices was so extraordinary that Chief Justice John Roberts had to issue a response:
This morning, Senator Schumer spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court while a case was being argued inside. Senator Schumer referred to two Members of the Court by name and said he wanted to tell them that ‘You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.’ 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. All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.
There are multiple issues with this statement. Schumer specifically mentioned that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would pay a price, not Senate Republicans. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is supposed to concern itself with whether the Louisiana law is constitutional, not whether “Women’s health care rights are at stake.”
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tried to defend Schumer:
Whitehouse must have an incredibly short memory. Roberts’ most famous opinion was truly was one of the worst opinions in Supreme Court history where he rewrote the dictionary to uphold the left’s signature legislative achievement this century under the guise that a penalty could be defined as a tax. He did so after initially siding siding with the eventual four dissenters and after left-wing politicians and “objective” journalists fretted that striking down Obamacare would tarnish the Court’s reputation.
Conservatives have not and will never forget or forgive Roberts for that. He damaged the reputation of the Court in an attempt to save it.
He’s also rebuked President Trump for far less egregious comments. But, he’s a Republican hack.
There is a right way and a wrong way to criticize the Judiciary Branch. You don’t threaten it like Schumer did. You don’t cite their Mexican ancestry as a possible reason why a judge might be biased against you as Trump did. Unlike comments about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonya Sotomayor being biased (Ginsburg had to apologize for comments she made during the 2016 campaign, after all), those comments were out-of-bounds.
The problem with Schumer’s comments is not that he criticized the Court. The Court makes good rulings and bad rulings. It is made up of nine human beings and criticizing the justices is not an attack on “norms and institutions.”
Schumer’s problem was he used threats and instead of making a legal argument, made a political argument covered in the language of the left’s many euphemisms for abortion.
The unfortunate truth for Schumer is that abortion is not a constitutional right. Roe v. Wade was and is wrong as a matter of Constitutional law. The barbarity of abortion just makes it all the worse. There was a point in time where even many liberals, including Laurence Tribe — yes, that Laurence Tribe — were intellectually honest enough to admit that Roe v. Wade was a garbage legal decision. Tribe also rebuked Schumer.
The great irony in this is that there’s a significant probability that Roberts and possibly Kavanaugh as well, vote to invalidate the Louisiana law that was introduced by a female Democrat. Schumer will have a few nice words for them if they do, but will go back to his old ways in short order because for Schumer, Whitehouse, and the rest, the Supreme Court exists as just another avenue for them to advance their political agenda.