“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.”
So, instantly infamously, said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader of the United States Senate. He said this to a rally of the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights — right out on the steps of the United States Supreme Court.
Shock waves rippled through Washington.
From inside the court, an indignant Chief Justice John Roberts issued a decidedly rare response, a tart reprimand of Schumer:
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.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to say this:
I’m not sure where to start. There is nothing to call this except a threat, and there is absolutely no question to whom, to whom it was directed.… The minority leader of the United States threatened two associate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court by name, period. There’s no other way to interpret that.
Even in the liberal media precincts of CNN, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said this:
I’m certainly not going to defend what Chuck Schumer said. It did sound like a physical threat. I think if you look at Chuck Schumer’s entire record, if you look at how he behaves, he does not threaten people physically. It was a — certainly a bad choice of words.
All well said. But there’s another, very key question here. That would be: Why? Why in the world would the minority leader of the United States Senate feel free to stand outside the Supreme Court and feel perfectly free to threaten two justices?
The answer is as simple as it is disgraceful. The American Left long ago walked away from the concept of three equal branches of constitutional government — the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
Over the decades — make that centuries — the Left has decided that the judicial branch is to be used as a second, unelected legislative branch to enforce its political choices of the moment.
The late Judge Robert Bork, famously defeated when President Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court, went on afterwards to write The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law.
Bork described the problem exactly, saying this:
Professions and academic disciplines that once possessed a life and structure of their own have steadily succumbed, in some cases almost entirely, to the belief that nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved. In this quest, politics invariably tries to dominate another discipline, to capture and use it for politics’ own purposes, while the second subject — law, religion, literature, economics, science, journalism, or whatever — struggles to maintain its independence.
This is exactly correct — and to the point it explains why Chuck Schumer felt perfectly free to threaten justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Schumer and his fellow liberals want a “politically desirable result” in the Louisiana abortion case — June Medical Services v. Russo — that revolves around a state, Louisiana in this case, allowing restrictions on abortion. They want the court to follow not the Constitution but the Left’s political demands about abortion.
Overshadowing all this is the recognition by Schumer and his fellow leftists that, as the Washington Examiner reports,
More than 200 members of Congress, all but two of whom Republicans, had asked the justices to reconsider or overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
But abortion is just one issue. In the smorgasbord of hot-button political issues, the very objective of the judicial system from the Left’s perspective is to decide in favor of whatever item in the leftist political agenda is at stake — by judicial fiat. And that is at risk as long as Donald Trump is in the White House and keeps replacing departing liberal judges with conservative constitutionalists.
Thus it is that Sen. Schumer wanted to make it crystal clear that he was indeed threatening justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh by saying — make that angrily demanding — do it our way … or else.
Sen. Schumer’s performance — which most assuredly is worthy of censure by his Senate colleagues as the Senate in the long ago censured what it saw as the bullying Wisconsin GOP Sen. Joe McCarthy — is not a stand-alone. It was merely a blatant verbalization of exactly the lynch mob mentality behind the way the Left has come to view the American judicial system:
“Do it our way — or else.”