Schumer’s Threat The Latest Example Of Democrats’ Attacks On The Supreme Court

Sen. Schumer’s Shocking Statement Yesterday That Supreme Court Justices ‘Will Pay The Price’ For Ruling The Wrong Way Is The Latest In A String Of Attacks By Democrat Senators On The Independence Of The Supreme Court


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “There is nothing to call this except a threat. And there is absolutely no question to whom it was directed. Contrary to what the Democratic Leader has since tried to claim, he very clearly was not addressing Republican lawmakers or anybody else. He literally directed the statement to the Justices, by name…. The Minority Leader of the United States Senate threatened two Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Period. There’s no other way to interpret that.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/05/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “These efforts to attack judicial independence remind us that independence is essential. Every time Democrats try to threaten sitting Justices, we are reminded exactly why the Framers gave them life tenure and salary protection. Every time Democrats toy with packing new seats onto the Court, we are reminded exactly why, as Justice Ginsburg recently said, ‘nine seems to be a good number.’ The distinguished men and women of the Supreme Court do not, and must not, serve at the pleasure of angry partisans…. Republicans are absolutely and unshakably committed to the core constitutional principle of an independent federal judiciary. As long as this majority holds the gavel, we will never let the Minority Leader’s dangerous views become policy. This majority will ensure the only casualties of this recklessness are the reputations of those who engage in it.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/05/2020)


Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Threatened Supreme Court Justices If They Didn’t Rule The Way He Wanted In A Case

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “I want to tell you, Gorsuch; 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.” (“Roberts Rebukes Schumer For Saying Justices Will ‘Pay The Price’ For A Vote Against Abortion Rights,” The Washington Post, 3/04/2020)


Last August, Several Senate Democrats Threatened The Supreme Court With Being ‘Restructured’ If The Justices Did Not Rule The Way They Wanted In A Case

SENS. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI), DICK DURBIN (D-IL), MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI), RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), and KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’” (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, Brief Of Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, And Kirsten Gillibrand As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents, 8/12/2019)

ALL 53 SENATE REPUBLICANS: “[O]ur colleagues did more than raise legal arguments in favor of mootness.  They openly threatened this Court with political retribution if it failed to dismiss the petition as moot…. Democrats in Congress, and on the presidential campaign trail, have peddled plans to pack this Court with more justices in order to further their radical legislative agenda.  It’s one thing for politicians to peddle these ideas in Tweets or on the stump. But the Democrats’ amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering. They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans.” (Republican Senators, Letter to Scott S. Harris, Clerk for the Supreme Court of the United States, 8/29/2019)


During The Impeachment Trial, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Also Called Into Question The ‘Legitimacy Of The Chief Justice, The Supreme Court, And The Constitution’

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the Chief Justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?” (Congressional Record, S.717, 1/30/2020)


A Left-Wing Special Interest Group, Helmed By A Former Senior Schumer Aide, Led A Campaign Attacking Chief Justice Roberts For Presiding Over The Impeachment Trial In A Fair And Even-Handed Manner

“Brian Fallon is co-founder and executive director of Demand Justice. Fallon worked as the Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama administration. Prior to that, he was a top aide in the United States Senate, working for New York Democrat Chuck Schumer. In 2016, Fallon served as the National Press Secretary for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.” (“Brian Fallon,” Demand Justice Website, Accessed 2/05/2020)

BRIAN FALLON, Executive Director Of Demand Justice, Former Schumer Spokesman: “The conservatives on the Court are politicians in robes, and Democrats are done pretending otherwise. Good for Schumer for telling it like it is.” (Brian Fallon, @brianefallon, Twitter, 3/04/2020)

BRIAN FALLON: “What Warren gets, and few others in that chamber do, is that extending the Chief Justice the benefit of the doubt and sitting back and praying for him to do the right thing - on witnesses, on Roe, voting rights, money in politics - will get us nowhere. He needs to be challenged” (Brian Fallon, @brianefallon, Twitter, 1/30/2020)

  • FALLON: “Roberts shouldnt [sic] get a free pass as he goes along with McConnell’s sham trial. If Republicans wont commit to letting witnesses like Bolton testify, Roberts can rule in favor of a motion to subpoena those witnesses and force the GOP to try to overrule him” (Brian Fallon, @brianefallon, Twitter, 1/27/2020)

The Ad Campaign From Demand Justice Featured Outrageous Accusations Against The Chief Justice

“Demand Justice announced a paid ad campaign calling out Chief Justice John Roberts’ failure so far to ensure a fair impeachment trial, and urging Americans to call the Supreme Court to demand he do so.” (Demand Justice, Press Release, 1/27/2020)

DEMAND JUSTICE: “Senator Warren is right. This trial is a sham, John Roberts is hurting his own legitimacy by enabling it.” (Demand Justice, @WeDemandJustice, Twitter, 1/30/2020)

  • Now, Roberts might even help Republicans cover up key evidence…. Donald Trump isn’t above the law, and John Roberts shouldn’t be above hearing from the American people when he abuses his office to help Republicans.” (Demand Justice, Email, 1/29/2020)
  • “John Roberts would rather let Mitch McConnell take the heat for the sham trial they’re conducting together, but he can’t hid [sic] from the truth. If he goes along with the Republican coverup, he’s just as responsible for it as anyone else.” (Demand Justice, @WeDemandJustice, Twitter, 1/29/2020)
  • “John Roberts’ job is to preside over a fair trial, where relevant witnesses are heard from and jurors actually listen to the evidence. Right now, he’s helping Republicans break the rules and cover for Trump. That has to end. Call Roberts … Tell him to do his job.” (Demand Justice, @WeDemandJustice, Twitter, 1/29/2020)


Many Democrats Running For President Last Year, Including Sitting Senators, Threatened The Supreme Court With FDR-Inspired Court-Packing

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “I’m open. … Actually, I mean, we could. Because the point is-- Look, there are a lot of different ways to do it. The number of people on the Supreme Court is not constitutionally constricted. But it’s one of the things that we certainly could talk about.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “Our Supreme Court is way out of whack… I’m not sure right now what the best way of accomplishing that balance is ... I don’t have all the solutions, but I feel the same urgency you do. I’m taking nothing off the table.” (The Washington Post, Accessed 9/18/2019)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): “I am open to that discussion… No, just I’m open to it. I’m absolutely open to it.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): “I am open to it. It depends on what happens with the Senate, if it’s realistic.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “Expanding the size of the Supreme Court is something I am thinking about right now … I want to think more about it and do more research…” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT): “I’m open to trying to say, how can we actually make sure that that court isn’t reflective of politics? … And expanding the court might be one way.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

FORMER GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D-CO): “We’ve had the size of the Supreme Court for a long time, and expanding the size of it, I think, would require a national discussion. … Yeah, I’m open to it.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

FORMER MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN): “I believe we need to reform the Supreme Court, but it’s not just about the number of justices.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

  • BUTTIGIEG: “So, we definitely need to do structural reform on the Supreme Court. Adding justices can be part of the solution but not in and of itself, it’s not enough… What we’ve got to do is depoliticize it and one solution that I’ve been discussing in recent weeks is structuring it with 15 members but five of whom can only be seated by a unanimous consensus of the other 10.” (The Washington Post, Accessed 9/18/19)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Supreme Court