“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.”
Thus spoke Charles Schumer, the senior United States senator from New York and the majority leader of the Senate in early 2020.
This week comes this headline from Fox News:
Armed suspect arrested near Justice Kavanaugh home identified
Suspect Nicholas John Roske was carrying a gun and knife, and admitted to intending to kill Kavanaugh, authorities
The story says this:
A criminal complaint obtained by Fox News shows that Roske is being charged with attempting to murder a United States Supreme Court Justice.
Which is to say, Nicholas John Roske came within a hair’s breadth of carrying through with the threat issued by the sitting leader of the United States Senate. That threat was quite specific — that the justice had “released the whirlwind” and would “pay the price” unless he would maintain Roe v. Wade the way Schumer demanded.
As Fox’s Jesse Watters has pointed out, by the Left’s own standards, what Schumer did was incitement. “By the Left’s own standards,” said Jesse, “they’re complicit. They argue that Trump’s speech on January 6 was a criminal act because it incited a riot at the Capitol. So in this case, by their own standards, the White House and Democrats in Congress practically endorsed the hit.”
The question now is obvious: Will the United States Senate punish Schumer for his open incitement of violence?
Specifically, when will the Senate censure Chuck Schumer?
There is one particular moment in Senate history that should be recalled here — the censure in 1954 of Wisconsin Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy.
Recall that in the early 1950s, McCarthy was investigating communists in the U.S. government. But a legitimate investigation went out of control, with McCarthy’s Senate colleagues believing that McCarthy had allowed his political power and the headlines to go to his head. In short, they believed McCarthy should be censured.
Over at the National Constitution Center is the tale of what happened:
By the summer of 1954, the Senate decided to take action against McCarthy. On July 30, 1954, Ralph Flanders, a Republican, introduced a censure motion that his conduct as chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was “contrary to senatorial traditions.”
McCarthy verbally abused some of his colleagues during hearings that started in August. The Senate then reconvened in a lame-duck session after the November election to consider two charges. And McCarthy again attacked committee members who leveled the challenges. But Republican Arthur Watkins of Utah, who led the selected committee, spoke about how McCarthy violated the Senate’s dignity.
On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted on a motion that said that McCarthy “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute, to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity; and such conduct is hereby condemned.” The motion passed by a 67-22 vote.
The effective punishment came against McCarthy in a separate motion, where he lost a key committee chairmanship.
But after December 2nd, McCarthy faded away as a major player in national politics. He died in 1957, by all accounts deeply affected by his rapid fall from power.
In the wake of the arrest of Nicholas John Roske for the attempted murder of Kavanaugh, Schumer’s blatant call that Kavanaugh “will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions” is nothing if not a call for censure by his Senate colleagues.
If Schumer’s behavior is not acting, to borrow from the McCarthy censure resolution, “contrary to senatorial ethics” that “tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute” — then what is?