Sen. Josh Hawley is introducing legislation to censure Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for saying that two Supreme Court justices “will pay the price” for voting against the wishes of abortion advocates.
Missouri Republican, Hawley announced on Twitter that he plans to introduce a motion to censure the Senate Minority Leader for threatening Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Hawley’s announcement follows a torrent of criticism toward Schumer for his comments, including from Chief Justice John Roberts.
“I would call on Schumer to apologize, but we all know he has no shame. So tomorrow I will introduce a motion to censure Schumer for his pathetic attempt at intimidation of #SupremeCourt,” Hawley wrote.
On Wednesday, abortion advocates rallied outside the Supreme Court as it prepared to hear opening arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo. The case focuses on a Louisiana law that critics say unconstitutionally limits access to abortion by placing onerous regulations on the operation’s providers.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer told protesters gathered in front of the court. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
John Roberts also issued a rare public statement condemning Chuck Schumer for his “dangerous” statement, “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.”
Schumer’s office hit back at Roberts, accusing the chief justice of partisan behavior and of misrepresenting the senator’s comments based on falsehoods spread by “right-wing” activists.
Schumer’s comments “were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that these justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement.