GOP senators call for censuring Schumer over Supreme Court comments

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced a resolution Thursday calling for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to be censured, following his fiery remarks directed toward Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Schumer made the comments Wednesday during an abortion rights rally held as the court heard arguments in a high-profile case focusing on a law that restricts who can perform abortions. Since then, he has been chastised by a number of federal and state officials.

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"[T]he statements of Senator Schumer are an attempt to unduly influence the judicial decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States and to undermine the vision of the founders of the United States of the 'complete independence of the courts of justice,'" the resolution says, quoting Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78.

Schumer's remarks were made at an event hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights outside the Supreme Court building.

"I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price!" Schumer warned. "You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."

The resolution, co-sponsored by 14 senators, says Schumer's words "could be read to suggest a threat or call for physical violence against 2 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States," while noting that "political violence in the United States has increased over the last decade[.]"

It specifically cites statistics of violence against the judiciary, including 4,542 "threats and inappropriate communications" that were investigated in 2018, and four federal judges that have been murdered since 1979.

The resolution also references Chief Justice John Roberts' rebuke of Schumer following his statement, in which Roberts called Schumer's words "inappropriate" and dangerous."

It also uses Schumer's own past words condemning threats.

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"Senator Schumer has acknowledged that threatening statements can increase the dangers of violence against government officials when he stated on June 15, 2017, following the attempted murder of several elected Members of Congress, ‘We would all be wise to reflect on the importance of civility in our [N]ation’s politics’ and that ‘the level of nastiness, vitriol, and hate that has seeped into our politics must be excised," the resolution reads.

Hawley was not the only one who called out Schumer for the remarks. Several Republican attorneys general condemned him for his remarks in statements posted to social media.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened the Senate's session Thursday morning by chastising Schumer for his comments.

“There is nothing to call this except a threat,” McConnell said, claiming that Schumer was "trying to gaslight the entire country" by claiming that he was only addressing Republican lawmakers.

Schumer responded by claiming he was "passionate" and "angry" about the threat towards women's ability to get abortions that the court case represented, but admitted that he "should not have used the words I used," and that "they didn't come out the way I intended to."

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Hawley was unmoved by Schumer's statement.

"Schumer refusing to take responsibility," Hawley tweeted. "This non-apology is the equivalent of “I’m sorry you feel that way.” He threatened #SupremeCourt Justices. Personally. By name. He should be censured[.]"